Illinois_Wisconsin_Football_5

Illinois running back Reggie Corbin (2) and offensive lineman Kendrick Green walk off the field after losing 49-20 to Wisconsin in an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 20, 2018, in Madison, Wis.

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Before the start of Illinois football's training camp on Aug. 2 in Champaign, beat writer SCOTT RICHEY is counting down the Top 50 most important Illini heading into the 2019 season:

No. 22: Kendrick Green

Vitals: 6-4, 305, R-So., OL

Hometown: Peoria

High school: Peoria

Looking back at 2018: Green flipped from defensive tackle to offensive guard last spring after spending the entirety of his redshirt 2017 season working out with the Illinois defensive line. That change, though, led to an immediate starting role. Green made his Illini debut in last year’s season opener against Kent State at left guard and held on to that spot for all 12 games.

Looking ahead to 2019: There’s not much new for Green heading into his redshirt sophomore season other than a number switch. The Peoria native wore No. 55 last season, but he’ll keep up the streak of a No. 53 on the Illinois offensive line with Nick Allegretti now on the Kansas City Chiefs’ roster. Green is a mauler up front for the Illini and will play a key role again this season in propelling the Illinois run game forward.

Last year’s ranking: No. 34

Scott Richey covers college basketball for The News-Gazette. His email is srichey@news-gazette.com, and you can follow him on Twitter (@srrichey).

College/Prep Sports Reporter

Scott Richey is a reporter covering college basketball at The News-Gazette. His email is srichey@news-gazette.com, and you can follow him on Twitter (@srrichey).