4 days to Camp Rantoul

4 days to Camp Rantoul

Counting down the 50 most important Illini.

No. 4: Mason Monheim, LB

Why he’s important: Increased his tackle totals to 97 in 2013 after he was the first true freshman to lead Illinois in tackles when he made 86 stops in 2012. Registering at least 100 tackles this season isn’t out of the realm of possibility for the Ohio native, who was named to the Butkus Award watch list earlier this summer. The starting middle linebacker in all 12 games last fall, Monheim might start the season opener against Youngstown State at the weakside linebacker slot Jonathan Brown occupied last season. Either way, expect Monheim to see the field plenty this season. He has seven double-digit tackle games next to his name, the most of anyone on the Illinois roster. Getting after the quarterback and creating more turnovers are two focal points Monheim could work to improve upon this season. He has one interception in his career and has forced three fumbles. The former high school swimmer has worked to increase his strength each his season, and enters 2014 poised for the possibility of earning All-Big Ten honors.

Fast fact: Monheim is one of 182 nominees from every level of college football for the Allstate American Football Coaches Association Good Works Team. The honor is not only for players’ accomplishments on the field, but for their work off the field. Monheim, the son of a dentist, has volunteered with the Smile Healthy program to promote good oral hygiene, has led a bible study group on campus and has mentored freshmen athletes at Illinois.

Last year’s ranking: No. 6

Tomorrow: No. 3

Previous rankings
No. 5: Simon Cvijanovic

No. 6: Reilly O'Toole

No. 7: T.J. Neal

No. 8: Ted Karras

No. 9: V'Angelo Bentley

No. 10: Aaron Bailey

No. 11: Teko Powell

No. 12: Matt LaCosse

No. 13: Geronimo Allison 

No. 14: Zane Petty

No. 15: Jon Davis

No. 16: Martize Barr

No. 17: Austin Teitsma

No. 18: Dawuane Smoot

No. 19: Kenny Nelson

No. 20: Justin Hardee

No. 21: Taylor Barton

No. 22: Donovonn Young

No. 23: Michael Heitz

No. 24: Alex Hill

No. 25: Jihad Ward

No. 26: Austin Schmidt

No. 27: Mikey Dudek

No. 28: Caleb Day

No. 29: Eaton Spence

No. 30: Mike Svetina

No. 31: Darius Mosely

No. 32: Justin DuVernois

No. 33: DeJazz Woods

No. 34: Taylor Zalewski

No. 35: Jaylen Dunlap

No. 36: Devin Church

No. 37: Tyrin Stone-Davis

No. 38: Paul James

No. 39: Jarrod Clements

No. 40: Joe Spencer

No. 41: Ralph Cooper

No. 42: B.J. Bello

No. 43: Jake Howe

No. 44: Joe Fotu

No. 45: Tyler White

No. 46: Zach Hirth 

No. 47: Eric Finney

No. 48: Zeph Grimes

No. 49: Carroll Phillips

No. 50: Clayton Fejedelem


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