Illinois Football: Why Wes Lunt Chose Illinois

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Did Wes Lunt see systemic success in his future?

Let’s face it, Lunt left Rochester High School on the heels of back-to-back state title seasons in which he threw for a combined 7000+ yards and 65 touchdowns. In other words, if he bothered to do any type of research he would quickly find that he seems to be a prototypical fit for Cubit’s offensive system. It’s a system that has produced some quality numbers, albeit in the offensive minded MAC.

As an OC at Western Michigan from 1997-1999 Cubit had a QB by the name of Tim Lester that amassed a total of 9,110 yards and 73 touchdowns in 3 seasons as a starter under Cubit’s tutelage.

Dec 27, 2011; Detroit, MI, USA; Western Michigan Broncos quarterback Alex Carder (14) talks with head coach Bill Cubit during the 2011 Little Caesars Bowl against the Purdue Boilermakers at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

As Head Coach at Western Michigan from 2005-2012, Cubit’s offensive system produced 2 prolific passers in Tim Hiller and Alex Carder.

Hiller threw for a total of 11,329 yards and 99 touchdowns in 4 seasons worth of starts for the Broncos. Carder threw for a total of 8,859 yards and 74 touchdowns in roughly 2 and a half years as a starter.

Clearly, Cubit’s offensive system is geared for a QB with Lunt’s particular gun-slinging skill set, and finding on-field success should not be a problem. Of course, the offensive line is going to have to keep the pocket in tact and keep Lunt upright long enough to allow him to find open receivers, but considering the line should be comprised of no less than 2 seniors (Cvijanovic, Heitz) and 3 RS juniors (Karras, Durkin, Flavin) with 2 RS seniors as backups (Hill, Afryl) there should be an expectation that Lunt will have time to throw.

Perhaps it truly was a confluence of factors that brought Lunt back to Illinois. Whether the decision came down to Cubit’s well documented offensive system, or the wealth of experience and depth that should be in place on the offensive line when he becomes eligible, or even Lunt’s proximity to Rochester and his family, one thing is certain.

Illinois has finally gotten a jolt of positive energy after a season filled with negativity and the entire fan community seems to be rejuvenated when talking about Illinois Football for the first time since Tim Beckman came aboard.

Welcome back to Illinois, Wes Lunt. The stage is set for great success. Now it’s time to get to work.

Follow Ryan on Twitter @RPKraemer.

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