Beloved Illini David Diehl Retired From The NFL Today

Ron Antonelli

The Champaign Room's favorite Illini hung up his cleats today.

In sad but not entirely unexpected news today, the New York Giants offensive lineman and former Illini David Diehl retired today. He'd been in the NFL since 2003, being drafted in the 5th round by the Giants, whom he'd spend his entire career with. Diehl played 160 games in the NFL, made the Pro Bowl in 2009, and was named an All-Pro in 2008. He also happened to win two Super Bowls, which isn't something a lot of people can say for themselves.

While at Illinois, Diehl protected my childhood favorite Illini Kurt Kittner from harm and was a part of the incredibly entertaining offense that carried the 2001 team to the Sugar Bowl. Diehl was and still is fiercely proud of his alma mater and always introduced himself as having attended "the University of Chief Illiniwek" during player intros.

On top of it all, Dave is just a stand up guy. He's made some errors and lapses in judgment, but he's also the kind of guy who goes out of his way to help strangers he'll never meet and for that, he'll always be beloved here at the Champaign Room.

Dave, we wish you the best of luck with whatever comes next. We know you'll make us all proud.

Follow The Champaign Room on Twitter at @Champaign_Room and Like us on Facebook. You can follow Mark Primiano on Twitter at @SBN_UGod.

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