Illinois offensive line received some great news on Wednesday morning.

Doug Kramer, Illinois’ starting center, announced in a post on Twitter that he will be returning to Champaign for a sixth season with the Fighting Illini. It’s huge news for Bret Bielema, who will have an experienced lineman at the center position for his first year with the program.

Kramer has made 37 career starts with the Fighting Illini. He was an All-B1G honorable mention following the 2019 season.


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“After weighing the options and meeting with Coach Bielema, my family and I have decided that it is best for me to stay at the University of Illinois for the 2021 season,” Kramer wrote on Twitter.

The NCAA permitted all fall student-athletes to retain the 2020 year of eligibility due to the COVID-19 pandemic, regardless of how many games they’ve appeared in. Kramer is a two-time team captain and will serve as an anchor on the offensive line for Illinois during the 2021 campaign.

Kramer started five games for the Fighting Illini during the 2020 campaign, missing two games due to contact tracing with COVID-19. He also missed the final game against Penn State because of an ankle injury.

Illinois finished the 2020 season with a 2-6 record, defeating Rutgers and Nebraska this season.