Illinois' top two QBs in 2017 not returning for 2018

Dr. Saturday
Illinois quarterback <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/ncaaf/players/263192/" data-ylk="slk:Jeff George">Jeff George</a> Jr. (3) threw the most passes of any Illinois QB in 2017. (AP Photo/Bradley Leeb)
Illinois quarterback Jeff George Jr. (3) threw the most passes of any Illinois QB in 2017. (AP Photo/Bradley Leeb)

Illinois’ potential quarterback competition for 2018 has been narrowed quite a bit.

Illini QB Chayce Crouch said Wednesday that he’s medically retiring from football while Jeff George Jr. will transfer from the program.

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“Each play I was on the field, I laid it all on the line to represent the University the best I could,” Crouch wrote. “I sacrificed my body, flipping into the end zone just to make Memorial Stadium go crazy and grab some extra momentum. Hell, I even changed positions in the middle of the season to see if I could help us out in a different way. These sacrifices were made because I love the family that is the University of Illinois.”

George announced that he’d be transferring from the school as a graduate transfer and have two seasons of eligibility left “at a school that will best utilize the abilities I have to offer.” George is the son of former Illinois and NFL quarterback Jeff George.


George threw the most passes for the Illini in 2017. He was 94-181 passing for 1,273 yards and seven touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Crouch was 45-91 passing for 443 yards and a score and four interceptions.

Their departures leave Cam Thomas as the team’s likely starter in 2018. Thomas, a freshman in 2017, was 28-66 passing for 375 yards and five interceptions. He did most of his damage on the ground, rushing 52 times for 233 yards and a touchdown. Thomas was the team’s starting quarterback in a season-ending loss to Northwestern.

Illinois went 0-9 in the Big Ten and 2-10 overall in 2017.

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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at nickbromberg@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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