The Wes Lunt transfer saga remains ugly, although it could have a very nice ending for Illinois: the Oklahoma State quarterback visited the Illini after former coach Mike Gundy blocked Lunt from considering 37 schools, per ESPN's Joe Schad.
Lunt is considering Illinois because he grew up an Illini fan and he believes the spread offense operated by offensive coordinator Bill Cubit is a good fit.
Lunt also has a relationship with coach Tim Beckman. Illinois is selling the idea that Lunt could potentially succeed a senior starter and that he could help turn around a program in front of his home-state fans.
That senior quarterback is Nathan Scheelhaase, a mobile signal-caller who has started in for the Illini since 2010. Schad also reports that Lunt has not yet visited Louisville, the only other school in his reported top five that Gundy's restrictions didn't block. He had been considering Vanderbilt and Tennessee -- banned by Gundy for being SEC squads -- as well as Southern Miss, on Gundy's list due to former Oklahoma State offensive coordinator Todd Monken's new gig as a head coach for the Golden Eagles.
SB Nation's The Champaign Room is on top of the situation.
Schad also reports is Gundy's hypothetical reasoning for blocking Lunt's transfer options. It had previously been reported that the Oklahoma State coach didn't want Lunt to go to a school that could face off against the Cowboys in a bowl game, which is weak considering the incredibly slim chance of that happening. But Schad adds two potential reasons:
That Lunt allegedly cited a desire to transfer "closer to home" and that those blocked schools are not "closer to home."
- The belief that at least some coaches at some interested schools improperly contacted Lunt.
The first is crazy because Lunt doesn't need Gundy's help to discern which universities are close to where he grew up. That's evident due to maps and a matter of Lunt's comfort level. The second is reasonable, if paranoid and out of Gundy's jurisdiction. If a school did improperly contact one of his players, that's on the NCAA to figure out and legislate.
Lunt threw for 1,108 yards with six touchdowns and seven interceptions in his true freshman season, his only year for the Cowboys.