The Essential List: Mason Monheim

A look at Mason Monheim -- one of a select group of players essential to Illinois this spring.

Mason Monheim - Linebacker - 6-1, 235, Junior

The Word: It's hard to believe Monheim is already a rising junior, but that's where we are heading into this spring. He started as a freshman and played well as a sophomore, finishing third on the team in tackles.

2013: 97 tackles, 6.5 for loss, one sack, one fumble recovery.

Expectation: Jonathan Brown is no longer in the huddle, which means a lot of responsibility falls on Monheim to lead and produce even more. Now, Brown missed a handful of games due to injury over the past two years, so we've seen Monheim out there without his mentor before. Now that he's one of the bigger faces on this defense, Monheim has to do more. It would be hard to make more tackles, but we're talking about all the little things, helping others and leading by example in the locker room and weight room. Fortunately, that's something Monheim appears comfortable and ready to do.

Illini Inquirer Top Stories