With one simple tweet, the landscape of the Illinois Football program has been changed.
BREAKING: Wes Lunt will transfer to the University of Illinois.
— Zach Kerker (@ZachKerker) June 17, 2013
It wasn’t just that Illinois Football reeled in a rather large piece of their future yesterday with the aforementioned twitter announcement that Wes Lunt will be transferring in from Oklahoma State to compete for the starting QB spot in 2014. It was more about what else it did in the process.
It sent shock waves of positivity about the program throughout the vast majority of Illini Nation.
Message boards lit up with welcome home messages directed at Lunt, and the only Illini-centric sports radio show out of Urbana, the Tay and J Show on 93.5, had no trouble filling their time with something other than the negativity that sometimes permeates the airwaves when discussing the current Illinois Football product.
Yes, this announcement was seemingly much bigger than the simple facts that the Illini won a recruiting skirmish for the services of a player at the most premium of all positions who had a 4 star ranking on rivals.com as a high school recruit, and they did so against a team far better positioned for immediate future success in the form of the Louisville Cardinals.
Wes Lunt isn’t just a player who has shown he is capable of producing stats at the college level as evidenced by his 436 yard virgin college road effort at Arizona or a subsequent 324 yard outburst while defeating TCU. He is a player that clearly has the leadership intangibles every coach looks for in a QB because he produced both of those efforts as the first true freshman starting QB in Oklahoma State history since 1950.
The biggest reason it’s such a positive impact is because Illinois Football is finally making good on its year long motto, “Our State. Our Team.”, and they are bringing one of their own State of Illinois record holders back home to play his college football for the next 3 years.
It’s a big deal, and it suddenly makes Illinois a much more attractive destination for ultra talented wide receivers who may have looked elsewhere if Illinois came knocking with an offer prior to Lunt’s commitment.
The driving question, though, is why did Lunt change his mind and side with Illinois Football this time?
I’m sure there are reasons only Wes Lunt himself would be able to provide, but it’s my humble opinion that having Bill Cubit installed this past offseason as the new Offensive Coordinator is one of, if not, THE biggest reason Lunt has decided to bring his abilities to Urbana.