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Nick Allegretti, Chiefs win Super Bowl LIV

Congrats, captain!

NFL: Preseason-San Francisco 49ers at Kansas City Chiefs Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Kansas City Chiefs rookie — and former Illinois captain — Nick Allegretti is now a Super Bowl champion.

Allegretti’s Chiefs scored three touchdowns in the fourth quarter to beat the 49ers, 31-20, at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami.

It’s an incredible story for Allegretti, who never wavered in his leadership. The O-lineman was an Illinois team captain in 2017 and 2018. The Illini won a total of just six games in those two years.

A lineman’s intelligence is everything. Outside of the quarterback, having a lineman understand blitz packages is most critical toward putting up points. It matters more than a wide receiver’s speed or a running back’s decision to cut inside or outside when he gets the ball.

Allegretti was smart when he was at the University of Illinois. He was a four-time Academic All-Big Ten. He can play three positions as a member of the Chiefs: center, left guard and right guard.

Longevity and staying healthy is the most important trait a football player can have. It’s about conditioning and taking care of one’s body. It’s luck. It’s probably genes. It’s a combination of factors. Nick Allegretti started 36 games at Illinois, including every game in 2016, ‘17 and ‘18. That is not easy. It’s especially difficult when the team you put your body on the line for is not playing postseason football in a bowl game.

An Illinois native. A player with not one, but two degrees from the flagship university in the state of Illinois. Captain Nick Allegretti, you deserve all of the praise coming your way.