Oct. 27, 2012; Champaign, IL, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini cheerleaders after a touchdown by the Illini during the first half against the Indiana Hoosiers at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reid Compton-USA TODAY Sports

Nathan Echard Days Until Illinois Fighting Illini Season Opener

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Welcome to our Countdown to Kickoff series!  In this series, we’ll do roster previews as we count down the days until the Illinois Fighting Illini August 30th season opener against Youngstown State.

Next up in the Countdown to Kickoff series is linebacker #39 Nathan Echard. Echard joined the Fighting Illini last offseason as a walk-on and redshirted the 2013 season.

Echard played his high school football at Eureka High School in Eureka, Missouri.

During his high school career, he was a first-team All-State coaches selection, a two-time All-Conference selection, a Eureka High School Athlete of the Year, a four-year honor roll member, and an Academic All-State selection.

It’s true that this season is going to be a big year for the Illinois defense.

That’s because the defense did not look too good (putting it nicely) in 2013, and Illini Nation is hoping that the defensive unit shows some kind of an improvement this time around.

With that being said, it might be a surprise to see Nathan Echard have a significant part of the defense this season. However, if the defense struggles as it did last season, anything is possible, right?

There’s no doubt that all eyes will be on the defense in 2014. It’s their play that will determine whether or not Illinois makes a bowl game this season.

Be on the lookout for our Countdown to Kickoff series as we continue to work our way to the season opener on August 30th.

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Tags: Football Illinois Fighting Illini Nathan Echard

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