Counting down the 50 most important Illini. Today ... it's Fritz Rock, who played minimally last season, hauling in five passes for 50 yards in four games
No. 43: Fritz Rock, wide receiver
Why he’s important: He can catch passes. Which will come in high supply this fall. If new offensive coordinator Bill Cubit’s system works the way the former Western Michigan coach wants it to. Rock is entering his third season with Illinois, a factor that should benefit the Minnesota native. He played minimally last season, hauling in five passes for 50 yards in four games. During the spring game, he caught two passes for 22 yards from Nathan Scheelhaase. If he could sustain those numbers this fall, he’s looking at a regular season of 24 catches and 264 yards, respectable numbers for a backup wide receiver, which is what Rock is at this point.
Fast fact: Rock graduated from Wayzata (Minn.) High School in 2009, but didn’t qualify academically. He spent a year away taking classes and working out on his own in order to enroll at Illinois, which is where he was before the start of the 2010 season.
Tomorrow: No. 42