Illinois is set to welcome one of its former starts back to campus as it hosts Virginia at Memorial Stadium on Saturday.

Whitney Mercilus, an All-American for the Illini before an NFL career that spanned 10 seasons, will be the honorary captain for the Illini-Cavaliers game, the program announced on Friday. Mercilus was selected 26th overall in the 2012 NFL Draft by the Houston Texans and remained with them through 2021 before he was released. He was later signed by the Green Bay Packers and finished the 2021 campaign with them. He recorded 58.0 sacks and 362 tackles for his career; in 2015, he totaled a career-best 12.0 sacks.

Mercilus played 3 seasons for the Illini and was a 1st-team All-B1G selection and All-American in 2011. That year, he amassed 16.0 sacks and 22.5 tackles for a loss. He also won the Bill Wills trophy, awarded to the country’s best defensive lineman, and the Ted Hendricks Award, given to the top DE in college football.

Illinois and Virginia kick off at 4 p.m. ET on Saturday, with the game to be carried on ESPNU.