After transferring from Oklahoma State where he played as a freshman, Wes Lunt was a 3 year starter at Illinois. The Fighting Illini did not have a lot of fight in them this past season finishing 3-9 in new coach Lovie Smith’s first season.
Lunt has used up his eligibility and Illinois will need a new Quarterback in 2017.
Since Wes Lunt had an injury plagued senior seasn, Chayce Crouch and Jeff George Jr got plenty of playing time in relief. Neither was all that effective in leading the offense.
Crouch will be in his third season as a Quarterback at Illinois and he could be the favorite to win the job in the Fall.
But, there should be a new threat in the Fall.
time, ESPN had him listed as 6-4, 210. Heights and weights are often stretched, but he may have even grown since then. Lately, he’s been listed as 6-6, 230.
He was offered scholarships by the likes of Florida State, Miami, Florida, Georgia and quite a few other schools, but he chose the Virginia Tech Hokies. After visiting Virginia Tech myself, I don’t blame him for choosing the the Hokies.
At Virginia Tech, Lawson found himself buried on the depth chart. Instead of sticking around, Dwayne Lawson transferred to Garden City Community College. It happens very frequently in college football with mixed results. Some transferring Quarterbacks have been really successful like Cam Newton, Troy Aikman, Baker Mayfield, and too many more to name.
It would make a very interesting story if Dwayne Lawson’s name was added to the list of successful Quarterback transfers.
From Virginia Tech, Lawson got a new start at Garden City Community College in Kansas
Garden City has an outstanding team finishing 11-0 this past season and Dwayen Lawson did not even start. Lawson played behind freshman Peyton Huslig who is a really good young Quarterback with great quickness and athletic ability. In spite of Huslig, Lawson still got playing time and enough to still be a desirable prospect.
Lawson has committed to Illinois and Lovie Smith, but he still has to pass some courses at Garden
City Community College before he can officially join the Fighting Illini. I have little doubt that he will pass and be at Illinois in the summer.
Dwayne Lawson is physically similar to the Cam Newton, Vince Young and Terrell Pryor type of Quarterbacks. Even though he was a 4 star coming out of high school, he is obviously not at that same talent level, although, Vince Young took some time to develop.
If Lawson does pass his courses and makes it in, I like his chances to not only start but to make a huge difference at Illinois.
In the Summer, Lawson will be behind the other Quarterbacks as far as learning the offense.
Chayce Crouch should be the leader going in followed by Jeff George Jr. George’s father was one of the great players in Illinois football history and there is still hope for his son. But, Jeff George Jr had his struggles as a redshirt freshman.
Also in contention should be Trenard Davis from Delray Beach, Florida who is probably more of a
runner than a passer at this time.
The long term solution at Quarterback might be 3 star incoming recruit Cameron Thomas from Chicago Heights and Marian Catholic High School. He’s 6-3, 185 with excellent athleticism and a good arm. Thomas shows a lot of potential and promise for the future, but right now he is a freshman
But, for now, the Fighting Illini’s best shot at winning could be junior Dwayne Lawson.
Lovie Smith is a good coach, there’s little doubt about that. But, he walked into a rough situation at Illinois with very little talent. While Smith can obviously coach, it’s not known yet if he can recruit top notch talent, or turn a program around.
But, hopefully, the addition of Dwayne Lawson is a big step towards making the Fighting Illini competitive again.