The 90 Illini #9: Vederian Lowe
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If you're on social media at all, you probably know a lot about Vederian Lowe's background. His story is one of the best stories on the roster. He's always been an old soul, and now he's living it. Married, two kids, single family home off campus, playing left tackle in the Big Ten.
If you missed any of those videos that have been all over social media, I'll embed two things for you to watch.
Here's Vederian giving the Big Ten Media Days Luncheon speech (done remotely this year due to Covid):
And here's a quick "day in the life" feature that was published yesterday:
Now I basically don't have to write anything below.
9. Vederian Lowe
Uniform number: 79
Year in school: Senior (1 year to play 1)
Height: 6'-6" -- Weight: 320 lbs.
Hometown: Rockford, Illinois
High School: Auburn HS
Best offers: none - Illinois was only reported offer
Tom Cruise rating:
2020 statistics: Started all eight games at left tackle - honorable mention All Big Ten.
Here's how I remember it. Vederian Lowe was on recruiting radars in the spring of 2016. As I recall he was one of those rare players who had a recruiting profile on Rivals and 247 but he didn't have any offers yet. He was known - there's a mountain of an offensive lineman at Rockford Auburn - but his recruitment moved slowly.
Again, I'm going off memory here, but the way I remember it, schools wanted him to camp in June. Rivals listed him north of 350 lbs (I want to say they had him at 360?), and the discussion at the time, accurate or not, was that schools wanted to meet him in person to see if he could move like a lineman or if he was just a really big dude.
(I could have all of this wrong, and it could have been a typo on Rivals, and all of this could have just been the message board/Twitter rumor mill. But those were the discussions at the time. He was immediately ranked as a top-10 player in the state - can't teach size - but he didn't have any offers yet.)
Vederian arrived on campus in shape, had to deal with a camp injury that year (he missed most of August and September in 2017), but he played in the fifth game and then started the final seven games of his true freshman season. Then, as a sophomore he started all 12 games, as a junior he started all 13 games, and as a senior last year he started all 8 games. Thinking about this as I type that out, he has now started... 40 consecutive games? I know that Palcho has also started 40 games, but he missed games here and there due to injury. Vederian missed his first month, got his feet wet against Iowa in 2017, and now has started every single game since Rutgers 2017.
We've reached the part of these player previews where the "outlook" section is somewhat meaningless. What's the outlook for Vederian Lowe? Start games 41 through 52 and try to help the team get him a 53rd start in a sunny location somewhere.
Also, be a dad, mow the lawn, go to class, spend quality time with his wife, spend 10 hours per day inside the Smith Center for practice/lifting/film, renew the license plates, pick up a gallon of milk, prepare for the NFL Draft process....