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Illinois names Oklahoma State transfer Wes Lunt starting quarterback

Sam Cooper
Dr. Saturday
In this Sept. 1, 2012 file photo, Oklahoma State quarterback Wes Lunt throws against Savannah State during an NCAA college football game in Stillwater, Okla. Illinois head coach Tim Beckman says he's in no hurry to name a starting quarterback and that the competition between the three potential candidates to succeed Nathan Scheelhaase is wide open. Lunt brings a skill set and a pedigree that the Illini haven't seen in a while. The tall, strong-armed quarterback sat out last season after transferring from Oklahoma State
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FILE - In this Sept. 1, 2012 file photo, Oklahoma State quarterback Wes Lunt throws against Savannah State during an NCAA college football game in Stillwater, Okla. Illinois head coach Tim Beckman says he's in no hurry to name a starting quarterback and that the competition between the three potential candidates to succeed Nathan Scheelhaase is wide open. Lunt brings a skill set and a pedigree that the Illini haven't seen in a while. The tall, strong-armed quarterback sat out last season after transferring from Oklahoma State. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)

In a move that was expected, Illinois head coach Tim Beckman announced Wednesday that Wes Lunt will be the Fighting Illini’s starting quarterback.

Lunt, a redshirt sophomore who transferred from Oklahoma State, will succeed four-year starter Nathan Scheelhaase when Illinois’ season opens up.

Lunt, a Rochester, Ill., native, had been competing for the No. 1 quarterback position with senior Reilly O’Toole and sophomore Aaron Bailey. Per OrangeandBlueNews.com, Lunt has been taking the majority of the first-team reps and completed 20-of-24 passes for 241 yards during Saturday’s scrimmage.

“The guy’s really smart,” said offensive coordinator Bill Cubit. “You go into those quarterback books and there’s notes and notes and notes. He went out there and did some things where you were like, ‘Wow.’ He understands the whole schematic of it.”

Lunt was a four-star recruit coming out of high school. After enrolling early, he became Oklahoma State’s starting quarterback as a true freshman in 2012 before going down with an injury. He started five games and played in six total for the Cowboys, throwing for 1,108 yards, six touchdowns and seven interceptions.

Following the 2012 season, he transferred back to his home state to play for the Illini. He’ll be inheriting a team that went 4-8 in 2013 and won just one conference game.

The Illini will open the season against Youngstown State on August 30.

For more Illinois news, visit OrangeandBlueNews.com.

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Sam Cooper is a contributor for the Yahoo Sports blogs. Have a tip? Email him or follow him on Twitter!

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