27 days to Camp Rantoul

Counting down the 50 most important Illini

No. 27: Alex Hill, center

Why he’s important: Hill has large shoes to fill. And that’s saying something for an offensive lineman. Hill will replace three-year starter Graham Pocic, never an easy task. Hill has some experience to his name, having made three career starts the past two seasons, but all came at a guard spot. He’ll have his hands on the ball this season. How he incorporates the different line calls needed and adapting to the new offensive system under Bill Cubit are two areas of intrigue surrounding Hill in 2013. Given the depth of issues Tim Beckman’s team faced last season on the offensive line, consistency and the ability to stay healthy are two other key factors worth watching with Hill this fall.   

Fast fact: One of only two Louisiana natives on the roster, Hill came to Illinois rated the 17th-best center in the country by Rivals.com for the Class of 2010. He was a late pickup by Ron Zook. Initially a Duke commit, Hill switched his allegiances to Illinois a week before signing day. He also had offers from Missouri and Texas A&M, among others.

Tomorrow: No. 26

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