The 90 Illini #36: Max Rosenthal

Jul 23, 2021

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The roster has been updated, and we know everyone's jersey numbers now, so I know what number will be on the "Rosenthal" jersey I'm going to hang on the wall. I'll be 71 years old, and we'll be taking friends through our home, and I'll show off the office and someone is going to say "a game-worn Rosenthal #49 jersey? I had no idea you played."

And I probably won't correct them.

36. Max Rosenthal

Tight End
Uniform number: 49
Year in school: Junior (without the Covid waiver, 1 year to play 1; with the Covid waiver, technically 2 years to play 2)
Height: 6'-2" -- Weight: 260 lbs.
Hometown: Glencoe, Illinois
Former School: Michigan State
Five best offers: n/a was a walkon at Michigan State
Tom Cruise rating:

2020 statistics: Missed all of 2020 season at MSU with an injury.


Feels like I could just write the same background as the Prather Hudson post. Was a walkon at his former school. Worked his way onto the field. Was eventually given a scholarship. Now, with additional eligibility remaining, he transfers to Illinois for more snaps. For Rosenthal, he has two years of eligibility remaining.

For Rosenthal, the main motivation is to be able to do his thing again. At Michigan State, with Mel Tucker taking over last year, his old position was no longer a position. So he entered the portal after the season and went looking for an offense that was a better fit. He landed on Illinois.

2021 Outlook

When he committed to Illinois, I assumed that he would mostly be a blocking fullback. Then we got to see the offense in the spring game and it doesn't look like they'll be using a fullback. The blocker role Rosenthal will play will most likely come from the edge. Think H-back like Eddie Viliunas in 2010, not fullback like Jay Prosch in 2010.

How much will he be used as a traditional tight end? We don't really know. My guess is a few keep-em-honest catches here and then and then lots of three TE sets where we have one wide receiver on the field. That set would look like this, I think:

  • Brandon Peters at QB
  • Chase Brown or Mike Epstein at tailback
  • Luke Ford as the in-line tight end on the right with Daniel Barker just off his shoulder
  • Five offensive linemen
  • Max Rosenthal off of Vederian Lowe's shoulder on the left side
  • One WR (Brian Hightower because he might be the best blocker?) split out wide

Line up like that, hand it to the tailback, and then unleash Rosenthal to go block everyone in sight.


Brave Illini on July 24, 2021 @ 07:22 AM

The more I read of your posts and other sources, it seems more apparent that our success this season on the offensive side of the ball will depend very heavily on the ability of the offensive line to run and pass block effectively. I think our skill position players are plenty talented to do their part, but not talented enough to overcome poor line blocking. What do others think? Is that a fair assessment?

IlliniJedi on July 25, 2021 @ 04:59 PM

Music to my ears, three tight end sets.

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