CHAMPAIGN (WCIA) — Illinois football’s offensive line is one of the most experienced groups in the country. Vederian Lowe (40), Alex Palczewski (40) and Doug Kramer (37) have started a combined 117 games in their careers. All three guys have a chance this season to pass the program career record for starts at 48, held by Nathan Scheelhaase, Ryan McDonald and Tim Simpson. WCIA 3’s Andy Olson chats 1-on-1 with Palczewski about his recovery from a knee injury last season that forced him to miss the final five games, and the outlook for this fall under first year Illini coach Bret Bielema.
“Coming off last year where you had trouble with injury, how are you feeling?
“I’m feeling fantastic, just looking forward to August 28th.”
“I’ve heard that from a lot of guys, looking forward to August 28th. What is it about the new coaching staff that has so many people so excited for the new year to start?”
“They just truely work hard every day to get us ready. They’re teaching us all about football and they’re just getting us ready to play that day.”
“What was the worst part about last year not being able to be out there with everyone?”
“I mean it’s always tough but at the end of the day I play football, to be with my brothers, to be with Doug Kramer, Vederian Lowe, to be with Brandon Peters, to be with all these guys it was painful to be on the sidelines, watching on TV, but I mean all that pain is behind me and good times are on the horizon.”
“What was the offseason like trying to rehab from that, what did that all intail?”
“It was a lot of leg days, especially with the knee, it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done but our training staff, I truly believe that we have one of the training staffs in the nation. Chase Luthan, he’s been the one that’s been working with me every single day and sometimes I’ll get mad at him because he’ll write down some terrible stuff for me to do but he’s truly had my best interest every single day and I’m just extremely proud of the job they’ve done.”