Count Roderick Perry in as one of the players who believes new head coach Bret Bielema can get the Illinois program heading in the right direction. The defensive tackle decided to return to Champaign for one more season at the end of the 2020 campaign.

On Wednesday, Perry met with the media to discuss his decision to return for the 2021 season, as he hopes to get the Illini back on track and help improve his draft stock for the 2022 NFL Draft.

Perry said that he sustained an injury in Illinois’ game against Iowa, and that certainly played a role in his decision to come back. While he thinks the program is in good hands under Bielema, he also talked about the trust he has in the training staff in Champaign.

Perry ended the year with 17 tackles, 2 sacks and a pass break-up as the Illini ended the year with a 2-6 record, finishing last in the B1G West. He sustained the injury in the sixth game of the year against Iowa and is still rehabbing.

Perry did not appear in Illinois’ final two games against Northwestern and Penn State.