Counting down the 50 most important Illini
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No. 38: Jake Feldmeyer, offensive line.
Why he's important: The junior from Ohio, who saw playing time in 2011, should have an increased role. There are all sorts of possibilities for him, including a starting job at center if the coaches decide to move Graham Pocic and/or Hugh Thornton toward the outside. If he isn't starting at center, Feldmeyer will back up the position and have a chance to contribute at guard as well. His versatility makes him valuable, allowing the coaches to experiment with the other spots. The coaches want to make sure the line is settled at all five spots. If that means moving a veteran or two to new positions, they will make the move. The good news for Feldmeyer as a center is he is learning from one of the best in school history. Luke Butkus was a three-year starter.
Fast fact: When Feldmeyer looks around the locker room, there are plenty missing from his 2009 recruiting class. Of the 22 players signed, nine failed to complete their eligibility.
Tomorrow: No. 37