Counting down the 50 most important Illini
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No. 49: Eddie Viliunas, tight end.
Why he's important: Converted quarterback, who moved to tight end before the 2010 season, can help take some of the pressure off the receivers and running backs. He had two of his four catches last season in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl win against UCLA, which was watched closely by the new boss, Tim Beckman. Viliunas showed his ability to get down the field with a 39-yard grab against Western Michigan. Part of a talented group of tight ends, who will be asked to do more because of deficiencies at other spots.
Fast fact: A two-time all-conference choice at Lyons Township, the Peyton Manning fan earned seven varsity letters during his high school career: three in baseball and two each in football and basketball.
Tomorrow: No. 48