If this is how every season is going to seemingly end for the rest of time, at least there’s an Illini hanging on for the ride.
Former Illinois offensive lineman Ted Karras won his second championship on Sunday as the New England Patriots defeated the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LIII. Karras has been on the Patriots for their last three Super Bowl appearances (2017-19), including both wins (‘17 and ‘19).
At Illinois, Ted Karras started a total of 43 career games, mostly at right guard from 2012-15. A native of neighboring Indiana, Karras held Power 5 offers from Illinois, Indiana, Iowa State and UCLA. He committed to play for Illinois in the summer of 2010, back when Joe Gilbert was the offensive line coach.
At Illinois he thrived on the field and in the classroom, earning Academic All-Big Ten Honors in three of his four undergraduate years on campus. Ted’s senior year in 2015 was the year it all came together, despite some less-than-ideal circumstances. Karras was named team captain, named All-Big Ten Third Team by the media and started all 12 games at right guard.
Karras didn’t appear in the game, but his name will always be etched on the roster of the Super Bowl winners.
And with the Patriots’ recent success in the latter part of this decade behind the never-aging Tom Brady, Illinois’ last five Super Bowl champs have been Patriots, including Karras’ two and Tavon Wilson, Michael Hoomanawanui and Michael Buchanon in 2015.
The Illini’s last two champs before that? Steve Weatherford and Dave Diehl of the New York Giants in 2012. Who’d they beat? The Pats.
Congratulations to Ted on another title and for making Illini Nation proud!
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