The staff of Writing Illini takes a look at the upcoming season for the Illinois Fighting Illini. The guys look at the Illini offense with Bill Cubit and debate whether or not Illini Nation will see true freshman Aaron Bailey in 2013.
Austin: The only way that Illinois fans will see Aaron Bailey this season is if one of two things happen this year: we are up big in a game and he comes into the game in the fourth quarter or Nathan Scheelhaase struggles mightily. I am a huge believer in the ability of Bailey, but my preference is to give him time to learn the system and develop in practices before throwing him to the wolves in Big Ten play. Most Big Ten teams have fairly decent defensive lines, and that means that Bailey will have to be quick on his feet and quick to react in game play. Don’t get me wrong: the best time to learn about how to play effectively is in actual game play. That said, I would prefer to see him learn from Scheelhaase, Lunt, and Cubit before he goes out to play in actual game time. If he struggles early, that could damage his psyche early, making him not as effective as he could be later in his college career.
Ryan: Yes. Unless Aaron Bailey is injured before the season begins, all signs point to Bailey being used in some fashion this season after new OC Bill Cubit stated that he saw no benefit from redshirting Bailey during his freshman season following his first practice. I think that most fans connected the dots and simply assumed the redshirt was going be a foregone conclusion for Bailey based off of a previous comment HC Tim Beckman had made when he stated that he prefers to redshirt all freshman to give them a chance to mature and catch up to the college game speed. However, this apparently doesn’t seem to apply to Bailey if Cubit gets his way.
Any way you slice it, Illinois fans are going to win with this decision. If the Illinois Coaching staff decides to play Bailey as a true freshman, Illini fans are going to get to see the most talked about recruit since Arrelious Benn take the field this season and show why he was so highly regarded in recruiting circles. At a bare minimum this decision would put a buzz about the program into the casual fan, and at this point any positive buzz is good for Illinois.
Ricky: If Nathan Scheelhaase performs well this season and stays injury free, Illini fans might not see a ton of Aaron Bailey in 2013. However, we could see bits and pieces of him. If Illinois can perform well, Bailey could get his chance to be the fourth quarter QB for the Fighting Illini. By being able to perform in some games, he could be showing the Illinois fan base why he should start next season over Wes Lunt.
Tim Beckman has hinted at redshirting Bailey, and I kind of agree with him. However, Bill Cubit does not want to redshirt the young freshman QB. Aaron Bailey is a quarterback who can run and throw the football. I think he could be a better version of former Illinois QB Juice Williams. By not redshirting Bailey, Illinois could give him some game play experience. Also, if Scheelhaase can do well in Cubit’s offensive system, Illini fans might have something to look forward to in Aaron Bailey.
What do you think, Illini Nation? If their are injuries and/or struggles with Illinois’ quarterbacks, will we see Aaron Bailey at all this upcoming season?
The Writing Illini staff includes lead editor Ricky Widmer along with staff writers, Austin Jabs and Ryan Kraemer.
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