Illinois quarterback Wes Lunt’s college career has been a rocky one, but now he is determined as ever to hit the ground running with new coach Lovie Smith and offensive coordinator Garrick McGee.
Lunt came to Illinois from Oklahoma State after his freshman season and sat out all of 2013 due to transfer rules and was limited to eight games in 2014 due to a broken leg, and the Illini’s season was a roller coaster last year after Tim Beckman was fired a week before the start of the season and replaced with offensive coordinator Bill Cubit amidst allegations of player abuse and mistreatment.
Speaking to ESPN, however, Lunt said that Smith’s tenure so far has been as smooth as can be.
“It was just really frustrating because you build relationships, and both the Cubits, Ryan and Bill, have been really good to me,” Lunt said. “I planned on going out with them, so that’s probably why it was so frustrating because it was change. But Coach Lovie Smith and Josh Whitman had a plan they executed really fast, which definitely eased a lot of that frustration. It was an up-and-down roller-coaster ride, but now we’re on an even, flat line and ready to go. It’s been as smooth a transition as it can be in the short amount of time it’s been.”
Lunt also praised Smith for being open and honest from the get go, and the fact that such a staunch Cubit loyalist opted to stay with the Illini is a great sign. The former three-star talent from Springfield, Illinois completed just 56.1 percent of his passes for 2,761 yards and 14 touchdowns in 2015, but some of that can be attributed to star wideout Mike Dudek missing the season with an ACL injury.
Now that he has one of the top offensive coordinators in the game in Garrick McGee working with him, perhaps Wes Lunt and his teammates can look forward to Illinois having its first winning season since 2007.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports