ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO/WQRF) — One of the rare upsides to COVID-19 is college athletes get an extra year of eligibility from the NCAA. Rockford native Vederian Lowe of the Fighting Illini is taking advantage of that. He’ll return to Champaign for his fifth season on the offensive line.
Like most college seniors Lowe was tempted to move on from college and take a shot at the NFL. The decision weighed on his mind throughout this past season. There was also the financial aspect to consider. An NFL income would help him support his family. He has a three-year old son and another child due in May, plus he has guardianship of his younger brother.
“It was really easy to be like, no I just want to go ahead and make that transition to the NFL just for my family,” said Lowe while on a visit to his Rockford home on Sunday.
“But I just knew deep down if I just gave a little bit more to the game that I could put myself in a better position.”
A better position to show NFL scouts what he can do. A better position to improve his game. Lowe has NFL size for an offensive tackle. He’s 6-6, 320 pounds. He was named Honorable Mention All-Big Ten this past season.
“It was nice,” said Lowe of the honor, “I just think that I’m capable of bigger things.”
Lowe says he’ll focus on being more aggressive next season.
“That and just getting better at run-blocking in general. I feel like I’m a pretty good pass-blocker, but the run-blocking is just the weaker part of my game.”
Lowe also doesn’t want to leave Illinois on a losing note. Illinois won only two of its eight games this past season. Lowe is also excited about the coaching change for the football team. Lovie Smith is out, and Bret Bielema is in.
“Coach Smith was a great coach. It’s just certain aspects of our football team just wasn’t clicking, carrying over to the football field.” “I just think that it was just time to bring in another guy. I feel like coach Bielema is going to change the culture for our football team.”
NOTE: To view the entire interview with Lowe click on the following link: