Illinois Football: The 30 greatest Illini players of all time

Illinois football. (Photo by Michael Allio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Illinois football. (Photo by Michael Allio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /
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Dick Butkus, Chicago Bears
Dick Butkus, Chicago Bears. (Getty Images) /

The Illinois football team has had some great, dare I say legendary, players step foot in Memorial Stadium over the last century or so.

Some of the greatest players to ever wear any uniform, let alone Illinois colors, have played for the Orange and Blue. Some of these historic figures helped pave the way for future generates of football players to play the game they love.

Since there have been so many great Illini football players, I wanted to put together a list of the 30 greatest players to ever suit up for Illinois. It was hard to put this list together because there were so many talented players dating back to the start of the program.

I had to leave some players off the list as well. The honorable mention list is quite extensive and holds many talented players. Chuck Carney is a part of the honorable mentions. He was an All-American wide receiver in the 1920s.

I have AJ Jenkins and Juice Williams both as honorable mentions. They gave me some great memories in the late 2000s and early 2010s. John Sullivan is another player I contemplated putting in the top 30. He was a tackling machine for the Orange and Blue.

But the list has been cultivated. The players are where they are because of their statistics, their accomplishments and their accolades.

Here are the 30 greatest Illini of all-time.