Four downs: Former Illini offensive lineman Christian DiLauro

Four downs: Former Illini offensive lineman Christian DiLauro

Illinois football beat writer Bob Asmussen chatted with former Illini offensive lineman Christian DiLauro, who will be keeping a close eye on this week's NFL draft. Originally signed by the Cleveland Browns, he joined the San Francisco 49ers in late September. The tackle from Ohio is looking for playing time this season:

What was the first year in the NFL like for you?

It was a lot of fun. I got to be around a lot of guys and learn a lot of things. A lot of the dudes in Cleveland showed me the ropes, they kind of broke me in to the NFL a little bit. When I went to San Fran, it was a whole different offense, whole different learning curve. Things got a little real, being all the way out on the West Coast. I got a true feeling of what the NFL is like.

What makes Nick Allegretti an intriguing pro prospect?

He's just so smart. And he's a good ballplayer. He's going to go out and he's going to work. He's going to give it his best shot. You tell him to do something, he's going to find a way to get it done no matter what it takes.

What's it like to return to campus?

I feel old. I felt old last year. I'm 24, but everything has changed so much. It wasn't like that when I was here.

What do you think of the new training facility?

I'm a little upset I didn't get to have those things when I was here. This program has always had top-notch stuff. But this new facility is above and beyond anything I would have imagined.