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Former NIC-10 stars represent teams at college football media days

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ROCKFORD (WREX) — Auburn grad Vederian Lowe and Harlem grad Josh Black are now some of the elder statesmen of their college teams. Lowe, a senior offensive lineman at Illinois, represented the Fighting Illini at Big Ten Media Days. Black, a senior defensive lineman at Syracuse, spoke on behalf of the Orange at the ACC Kickoff event. The two former NIC-10 standouts both decided to return for their extra year of eligibility the NCAA granted all players from last year.

Lowe serves as a leaders for the Fighting Illini and he'll help the program transition to a new head coach, with Bret Bielema taking over this year.

"After meeting with him, having a conversation over the phone, and just learning more about him and how much success he's had in the Big Ten, that played a huge part in me staying," Lowe said. "I obviously wanted to play more games with these guys. I want to go up against Owen [Carney] in practice every chance I get. Just to be here with these guys and have another season and be led by coach B, it's an honor and I'm glad I stayed."

Black had a bad taste in his mouth after last year. Syracuse had a rough season, and Black wants to go out on a better note.

"I can't go out on a losing season," Black said. "And 1-10, those numbers are horrific. You look at that on paper and it's like, 'Oh,man.' Something didn't feel right. Something didn't sit right with me. I couldn't go out on that note, personally. A lot of the guys felt the same way too. We felt like last year was not representative of who we are as a football team. It's part of my job to make sure we get on the right track before I head up out of here."

Media days mean we're getting closer to the college football season. Illinois starts a week earlier than most teams, when the Illini host Nebraska, Aug. 28. Syracuse kicks off the 2021 campaign on the road at Ohio, Sept. 4.

Derek Bayne

Derek Bayne joined 13 WREX as the sports director in December of 2011. He grew up in the Chicago suburbs and moved back to Illinois after working several years in North Carolina. For any sports story ideas or tips, you can email dbayne@wrex.com.

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