College football: Allegretti named Rare Disease Champion Award finalist

URBANA-CHAMPAIGN – University of Illinois senior football player Nick Allegretti, a Lincoln-Way East graduate, was named as one of five finalists for the Rare Disease Champion Award, Uplifting Athletes announced. Allegretti is one of five finalists from around the nation.

The winner will be determined by a public online vote that runs from Nov. 12 to Dec. 4 and fans can vote once each day for their favorite finalist at the following website:

Other individuals who are up for the award are Stanford University’s Ryan Beecher, Kent State University’s Antwan Dixon, Syracuse University’s Sam Heckel and Austin Peay State University’s Joshua Eargle.

The award winner will be announced at the Home Depot ESPN College Football Awards Show on Dec. 6 and presented at the Maxwell Football Club Awards Gala at the Tropicana Resorts in Atlantic City, New Jersey, on March 8, 2019. The Rare Disease Champion Award is in its 11th year. Winners have included Shaquem Griffin (UCF), Mitchell Meyers (Iowa State) and Jake Olson (USC).

Allegretti has helped raise over $86,000 for rare diseases through the Illini’s Lift for Life during the past two years. Allegretti is the president of Illinois’ Uplifting Athletes chapter and also volunteers extensively at the Tom Jones Challenger League.

He is a two-time Wuerffel Trophy nominee, two-time AFCA Good Works Team watch list honoree, Senior CLASS Award candidate, 2018 Big Ten Sportsmanship Award winner and 2018 Campbell Trophy semifinalist. Allegretti, a two-year team captain, graduated from the University of Illinois with a degree in accountancy and is currently enrolled in graduate school. He is a three-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree.

During his high school career playing for coach Rob Zvonar’s Griffins, he was a U.S. Army All-American and was ranked as one of the best players at center in the nation. He was also an outstanding wrestler while competing at East, finishing third at 285 pounds in 2014.