Oct 26, 2013; Champaign, IL, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini flag team performs during half time of the game against the Michigan State Spartans at Memorial Stadium. Michigan State won 42-3. Mandatory Credit: Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

Clayton Fejedelem 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 #20 Clayton Fejedelem. Fejedelem is entering his junior season and (technically) second year as a member of the Fighting Illini.

He joined the team as a walk-on during last year’s spring practices, but had to sit out the 2013 season because of NCAA transfer rules.

Fejedelem played his first two collegiate seasons in the NAIA at St. Xavier University in Chicago, Illinois.

He helped the Cougars to an 11-2 record and recorded 87 total tackles, 10.5 tackles-for-loss, one sack, three interceptions, and two fumble recoveries in his last season at SXU in 2012.

As a unit, this season is going to be a big year for the Illinois defense.

The 2013 season was not a very positive year for the Orange & Blue on defense, and fans are hoping that the defensive unit shows some kind of an improvement this time around.

Clayton Fejedelem could be a breath of fresh air for the defense in 2014.

He did some really nice things at St. Xavier which included winning the NAIA National Championship in 2011.

His ability as a defensive back to get into the backfield and break up passes mixed with his championship experience could help the Illini defense improve from a season ago.

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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