Jeff Allen, a former standout offensive lineman at Illinois, is headed back to school.

Allen will serve as an honorary captain Saturday when the No. 24 Fighting Illini play host to Minnesota.  The Illini are ranked for the first time since 2011, Allen’s final season with the program.

A 4-year starter, Allen was drafted in the 2nd round by the Kansas City Cheifs. Following a 4-year stint with the AFC West franchise, Allen signed a 4-year deal with the Houston Texans worth $28 million.

Allen was released during the offseason in 2018 after reaching an injury settlement following back-to-back seasons of consistent ankle problems.

After returning to Kansas City, the Chiefs released Allen in October of 2019. In 8 NFL seasons, Allen played in 84 games and recorded 66 career starts. During his time in college, Allen started 47 games and was a 2-time All-B1G member

The Illini are currently 5-1 under 2nd-year coach Bret Bielema. Kickoff Saturday against the Golden Gophers is set for noon E.T. on BTN.