Thomas has left UI football team

Thomas has left UI football team

CHAMPAIGN — Cam Thomas is no longer on the Illinois football roster. The sophomore quarterback has left the program for "personal reasons" according to a release by the university.

Thomas played in four games in the 2017 season and made two starts as a true freshman. He was the lone scholarship quarterback on the the team during spring practices, but he lost out on the starting job this fall in a five-way quarterback competition during training camp.

Graduate transfer AJ Bush Jr. was named Illinois' starting quarterback on Aug. 27 in advance of the Illini's season opener against Kent State. Thomas did not appear in the 31-24 victory against the Golden Flashes.

"I'm definitely happy for AJ because I know he's been through a lot in his college career," Thomas told The News-Gazette the day after Bush was named the starter. "I think it's good for him to get out there and finally get his chance. I'm definitely going to make sure I prepare as if I'm the starter, but he definitely has my support on the sideline as well. I want to see him do big things."

Thomas compiled 608 yards of total offense in 2017 to rank second on the team behind fellow former Illinois quarterback Jeff George Jr. (now at Pittsburgh after a brief stop at Michigan). Thomas completed 28 of 66 passes for 375 yards, five interceptions and zero touchdowns while rushing 52 times for 233 yards and one touchdown.

Thomas' departure now puts Illinois' scholarship quarterback depth at all true freshmen behind Bush. His backups are now M.J. Rivers II, Matt Robinson and Coran Taylor, with walk-on quarterbacks Cam Miller and Drake Davis also on the roster.