Illinois Football: Class of 2017 Position Grades for the Illini

Oct 1, 2016; Lincoln, NE, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini head coach Lovie Smith watches during the game against the Nebraska Cornhuskers Illinois Fighting Illini in the first quarter at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 1, 2016; Lincoln, NE, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini head coach Lovie Smith watches during the game against the Nebraska Cornhuskers Illinois Fighting Illini in the first quarter at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports /
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Illinois Football
Oct 15, 2016; Piscataway, NJ, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini quarterback Chayce Crouch (7) drops back to pass against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights during the first half at High Points Solutions Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports /

Quarterback A-

Over the past three seasons, the quarterback situation has been topsy-turvy, to say the least.

2016 starting quarterback Wes Lunt has now graduated and the Illini are left looking for an answer behind center.

Lunt played in eight games for the Illini last season and started in seven of them.  His career was marred by injury and that is what happened 2016 as well.

The projected starter heading into 2017 is Chayce Crouch.  He played last season and had a start against Rutgers.  But, he ended up missing the final six games due to injury.

Jeff George Jr. also played last season.  He saw action in five games and had a total of four starts.  He is the most experienced quarterback on the roster right now.

But, since Lunt departed and the other two quarterbacks didn’t impress last season, Lovie decided to snag a couple of talented players from the class of 2017.

Dwayne Lawson and Cam Thomas will be two names that Illinois fans will know for years to come.

Lawson is a junior college transfer that is still working on getting his associates degree before he can officially transfer to Illinois.

I think, once Lawson gets the green flag, that he will come into the program and earn the starting job day one.  He is a highly touted recruit and a duel threat quarterback.

Thomas is going to have a special career at Illinois as well.  He will have a chance for the starting job but most likely will be redshirted year one.

I see a bright future for Thomas and I can’t wait to see what he can do with those legs on the field.

Next: Top 5 Recruits Who Will Impact the 2017 Season

Lovie saw a huge issue with the quarterback situation and went out and got two guys who could change this program.  He really did well in the quarterback department.