The Illinois football team only has one offensive lineman committed so far in the Class of 2014.
But he's a good one. An All-American in fact.
Nick Allegretti, a center at Lincoln-Way (Ill.) East High School who committed to Illinois on March 11, will play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl on Jan. 4, 2014 at the Alamodome in San Antonio.
He is the first Illinois recruit to play in the game since Justin Green did in 2009.
All told, he will be the eighth Illinois recruit to play in the game after Green, Reggie Ellis (2008), Arrelious Benn (2007), Martez Wilson (2007), D'Angelo McCray (2007), Rashard Mendenhall (2005) and Cyrus Garrett (2002) did so as well.
Allegretti had to go through a lengthy process after he was one of 400 players who was nominated for the game, which included several letters of reference and an essay after Lincoln-Way East coach Rob Zvonar nominated him.
So far Allegretti is one of four Illinois prep players who were selected to play in the game along with Hinsdale Central offensive lineman Brian Allen, a Michigan State commit, and uncommitted linebackers Nyles Morgan from Crete-Monee and Clifton Garrett from Plainfield South.
Allegretti received the official invitation from the bowl in late August and the jersey presentation recognizing Allegretti is scheduled for Monday, Oct. 7 at Lincoln-Way East.
Allegretti has a team-high 20 pancake blocks this season for the Griffins (4-0), who will face another undefeated team in Homewood-Flossmoor in a road game at 7 p.m. on Friday.