19 days to Camp Rantoul

19 days to Camp Rantoul

Counting down the 50 most important Illini

No. 19: Corey Lewis, right tackle

Why he’s important: Leadership. Poise. Stability. If Lewis can remain injury-free, the sixth-year senior could enjoy his best season at Illinois. He played in 16 games during his first two seasons at Illinois, but once this decade hit, so did the injuries. He missed the entire 2010 and 2011 seasons because of two separate ACL tears, but recovered in time to play in four games towards the end of last season. Had a productive spring (and injury-free spring), where he established himself as the starting right tackle. His perseverance in coming back from two devastating injuries could become a point Tim Beckman harps on whenever Illinois faces adversity this season. When it does, the 23-year-old Lewis is the perfect man to turn to.

Fast fact: All the other members from the Class of 2008 are long gone from Illinois. Players like Mikel Leshoure, Jeff Allen, A.J. Jenkins and Corey Liuget, among others, all joined Lewis in signing letters of intent that year.

Tomorrow: No. 18

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