Counting down the 50 most important Illini
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No. 34: Tyler Sands, offensive line.
Why he's important: The key to playing for the Illini in 2012 will be versatility. And Sands has plenty of it. The senior from Pennsylvania has worked at guard and center during his Illinois career. If the Illinois coaches consider moving Graham Pocic or Hugh Thornton to the outside, which seems like an option, then Sands would be a logical choice to fill the game inside. Sands got plenty of experience in 2011, playing in all 13 games. He started against Northwestern at guard, which gives the new staff film to look at to see how he performed at critical points in the game. Going into his final year, you know he will put every bit of effort into getting on the field, including jumping from spot to spot.
Fast fact: A talented two-way player in high school, Sands picked Illinois over Nebraska and Boston College. He also had offers from Wisconsin, Pitt, Virginia and others.
Tomorrow: No. 33