In this edition of the Writing Illini roundtable, the staff takes a look at the Illinois Fighting Illini’s 2013 season and makes their pick for the MVP of the Illinois Fighting Illini in 2013.
Austin: Scheelhaase has got to have had one of the most underrated and under appreciated careers of any Illini in my memory, maybe all time in the program. This year, he was a top 30 quarterback and showed the ability to lead this team, reaching a 4 win season, something many doubted was possible after last season. He won’t go to the NFL, he might get a shot in the CFL or Arena League if he desires one, but Nate has been a pillar for this program for the past four years, and has been the MVP of this team by leading on and off the field.
Ricky: There is no doubt in my mind that senior wide receiver Steve Hull is the MVP of the Fighting Illini for the 2013 season. Since Ryan Lankford’s season-ending injury in the game against Michigan State, Hull picked up the slack when it came to the Illinois receiving game. He was able to amass 653 receiving yards in the team’s last four games and scored six touchdowns. Hull showed that with most targets that he could make a huge contribution to this Illini team. In just four games, Hull was able to rack up as many yards as some receivers did in twelve games.He finished the season ranked 34th overall among WRs in receiving yards.
Ryan: This truly is a 3 horse race between Scheelhaase, Ferguson, and Hull. Each of these players excelled in the first year of OC Bill Cubit’s system. The fortunate thing for Ferguson is that he gets to come back and improve upon his near MVP type stellar season. Scheelhaase and Hull do not, but together they stopped the B1G worst 20 game losing streak, and that’s the tipping point that’s pushing me to vote for them as split Team MVP’s.
Scheelhaase was mostly consistent this season, turning in his finest statistical year in an Illinois uniform in the process. It would be easy to simply hand the award to Scheelhaase, but Hull was just as important. Hull truly emerged in the back half of the season after showing flashes in the season’s early going, but it was his late season emergence as a reliable weapon that allowed the running game to get back on track because teams had to respect his ability and stop stacking the box to stop Ferguson and Scheelhaase in the zone read.
The Writing Illini staff includes lead editor Ricky Widmer, co-editor Ryan Kraemer, and staff writer, Austin Jabs.
Follow Ricky on Twitter @RickyWidmer.
Follow Austin on Twitter @AustinJabs85.
Follow Ryan on Twitter @RPKraemer.