44 days to Camp Rantoul

44 days to Camp Rantoul

Counting down the 50 most important Illini

No. 44: Ben Mathis, defensive back

Why he’s important: Can play tour guide to incoming transfer Wes Lunt. Lunt said Mathis, a Springfield High product, is the only player he’s semi-familiar with, mainly by name recognition. The same time Mathis was producing with the Senators, Lunt’s older brother Wil, was racking up the yards as Rochester’s quarterback. Not often you would put a walk-on at this spot on this list, especially one who has one career tackle in three years, but Mathis can provide leadership to an unproven secondary. That’s almost as important as any on-field contribution he can make. How he motivates the younger bunch and provides a solid example of how to conduct oneself can go a long way towards a freshman or sophomore.

Tomorrow: No. 43


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