Counting down the 50 most important Illini
No. 34: Steve Hull, wide receiver
Why he’s important: We’d have him higher if he weren’t making the position change. A hard-hitting safety, the senior will make the transition back to wide receiver this fall. It was the position he initially came to Illinois for before switching to defense shortly before the 2010 season. The move was more need-based given the lack of returning wide receivers. And it might work out so Hull will stay on the field more. He had a superb 2011 season, starting 11 games and racking up 58 tackles while making his first career interception. His two interceptions led the team last season, but he only played in five games. Shoulder, hamstring and ankle injuries are some of the ailments Hull has had to suffer through. He had to sit out the spring, too, while he recovered from injuries that have sullied his time at Illinois. But he’s still got one year left. And a good relationship with Nathan Scheelhaase (he was a groomsmen in Scheelhaase’s wedding on July 6). Plus the experience factor should benefit him. If he can avoid the injuries.
Fast fact: Hull had perhaps his best game in an Illinois uniform the last time the Illini won a Big Ten game. He made a career-high eight tackles and nabbed his first career interception during Illinois’ 41-20 victory at Indiana on Oct. 6, 2011.
Tomorrow: No. 33