Veteran Illinois DL to step away from football after Redbox Bowl
Illinois lost a big piece of its defense earlier this year with the offseason injury to Bobby Roundtree, and one of the breakout players in his absence is leaving football following the Redbox Bowl.
According to comments shared by Isaac Trotter with the Illini Inquirer, defensive lineman Ayo Shogbonyo will not return to the Illini in 2020. In fact, Shogbonyo will leave football altogether in 2020 after graduating with his degree.
Shogbonyo did not elaborate, simply indicating the reasons were “a little personal.” He did indicate it was an extremely difficult decision:
“It’s a little personal,” Shogbonyo said. “I got some stuff I have to take care of as a man. Made the hard decision to not take my fifth year.”
“It’s really hard, especially when you know you’re doing good,” Shogbonyo said. “The defense is clicking, the team is clicking. We’re changing the program, so it makes this really hard.”
Shogbonyo really made the leap into a solid contributor this season, posting career-high numbers across the board with 30 total tackles, 8.5 for loss, and 1.5 sacks. He finished tied for fourth on the Illini in tackles for loss this season.
Best of luck to Shogbonyo as he moves into the next chapter of his life! Hopefully, the Illini can end the season on a high note with a win in the Redbox Bowl.
#Illini DE Ayo Shogbonyo had a breakout 2019 season. But even though he has one more year of eligibility, he’s chosen to step away from football. The Redbox Bowl will he his last game.
“We’re changing the program, so it makes this really hard.”https://t.co/jiMwQsd0rg
— Isaac Trotter (@isaac_trotter2) December 22, 2019