Cubit helps pull in Lunt
Bill Cubit has recruiting ties throughout the country.
His main areas at Illinois are the Chicago Catholic League and south Florida.
Wherever elite quarterbacks are at, too.
Which is what Wes Lunt is and why Cubit improved his recruiting reach after helping land the former Rochester product and Oklahoma State transfer quarterback to Illinois.
The pass-happy offensive system and solid reputation the first-year Illinois offensive coordinator has in developing quarterbacks played a critical role in having Lunt choose Illinois over Louisville.
The few Illinois fans who braved the cold mid-April weather for the Illini’s spring game were treated to a passing system built on quick hitters and the occasional deep ball.
Both Nathan Scheelhaase and Reilly O’Toole combined to throw for more than 600 yards on the night.
A night which saw BTN cameras in tow, allowing Illinois a chance to showcase the offense they will run under Cubit this fall.
It has obviously caught the attention of Lunt.
Of course, if Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy had lifted restrictions on where Lunt could transfer to, who knows if the former Rocket, who won two Class 4A state titles at Memorial Stadium and threw for a 506 yards in his last high school game at his future home field, even considers Illinois.
Yet here he is.
He’s the most heavily-watched player in Tim Beckman’s program right now, and he hasn’t even played a down of football with the Illini.
It makes sense why.
Lunt came into the 2012 season as the Cowboys’ starting quarterback, going straight from the prep scene to the world of big-time college football without missing a beat.
He graduated from high school early, took part in spring practice with the Cowboys and impressed Gundy so much he named Lunt his starter last spring.
Injuries to his knee and ankle, along with a concussion, which came after a broken foot in high school, derailed a promising freshman season that saw him throw for 436 yards against Arizona in only his second collegiate game.
Illinois quarterbacks have thrown for more than 400 yards 14 times in the program’s history.
The most recent? Juice Williams twice during the 2008 season with 451 yards against Missouri and 462 against Minnesota.
It’s easy to sit here and speculate Lunt becoming the eighth quarterback to accomplish the feat if Scheelhaase doesn’t eclipse the mark in 2013.
The Illinois quarterback situation for the 2014 season opener against Youngstown State, as it stands right now, consists of Lunt, Aaron Bailey, O’Toole and Chayce Crouch.
It’s unclear if O’Toole, who has two seasons of eligibility left starting with the 2013 season, might transfer or stick it out.
Don’t expect Bailey, a dual-threat quarterback, to possibly shift to a different position, a la Miles Osei, Eddie McGee or Walter Young.
At least not initially.
And Crouch has indicated he is not wavering on his May commitment to Illinois.
Right now, Scheelhaase is the man who will quarterback Illinois to start the 2013 season.
After that, all signs point to Lunt.
But it’s a crowded field.
Mainly because of Cubit and Beckman’s ability to secure a commitment from Lunt.