QB Wes Lunt picks Illinois over Louisville, according to report

Matt Kartozian-US PRESSWIRE

2013's most dramatic transfer story (so far) has come to a close.

Former Oklahoma State Cowboys quarterback Wes Lunt is transferring to Illinois instead of Louisville, according to Zach Kerker.

In 2012, Lunt began his freshman year at Oklahoma State as the starting quarterback and a former three-star Composite recruit. He only played in six games, however, as various injuries kept him on the sidelines. Lunt finished the campaign throwing for 1,108 yards, six touchdowns and seven interceptions.

More: Mike Gundy is Wes Lunt's supernatural, annoying stalker Playing GeoGuessr with Mike Gundy

Our own Steven Muma looked at what Lunt would mean for either Louisville or Illinois. The section on the Illini:

Incumbent starting QB: Nate Scheelhaase, who is heading into his senior year.

Lunt's potential competition in 2014: Reilly O'Toole, Aaron Bailey, Chayce Crouch. Of the three, only O'Toole has played in a college football game, and he hasn't played a ton because he's been stuck behind Scheelhaase. He wasn't bad when he did play last season, completing 74.7 percent of his throws for 564 yards, six touchdowns and four interceptions

Bailey was a consensus four-star dual-threat quarterback out of high school who signed with the Illini in February. Depending on how quickly he develops, he could be tough for Lunt to beat out.

Crouch is a commitment in Illinois' 2014 class, and for all we know, he may end up flipping that commitment 17 times and ending up elsewhere entirely by the time signing day rolls around. Crouch, who is a consensus three-star prospect, probably will be looking at a redshirt season in 2014, but he could end up pushing Lunt in the years to follow.

Illinois selling points: With Scheelhaase graduating after this season, the quarterback competition will be wide open. Lunt isn't behind any of his potential competition in terms of on-field experience, and he'd have a chance to be a multi-year starter. Additionally, new offensive coordinator Bill Cubit's system is "definitely directed in Wes Lunt's wheelhouse," according to his high school coach. Lunt went to high school in Illinois and grew up a fan of the Illini, so he would not only be moving back much closer to home, he'd also be suiting up for his childhood favorites.

Lunt's potential impact on the Illini: While no one player can turn around a program by himself, Lunt would give the Illini some much-needed experience and stability at quarterback. It's certainly conceivable that he'd be more productive than Scheelhaase has been over the last few seasons, which would help the Illini program on its climb back from a 2-10 campaign in 2012.

Following spring practice, in which Lunt competed with Oklahoma State signal-callers J.W. Walsh and Clint Chelf, the native of Rochester, Ill., announced his plans to transfer. A lack of communication regarding the Cowboys' quarterback competition was one reason for Lunt's transfer, according to ESPN's Joe Schad.

Lunt's transfer process was marred by the nearly draconian transfer restrictions enacted by Mike Gundy, who prevented Lunt from transferring 37 separate schools. Its somewhat understandable that other Big 12 institutions weren't kosher, but Gundy also blocked SEC and Pac-12 schools, plus Southern Miss (where ex-offensive coordinator Todd Monken is now a head coach), and other schools on Oklahoma State's future schedules. Since three of Lunt's top five were Monken's Golden Eagles and SEC squads in Tennessee and Vanderbilt, Gundy essentially halved his former quarterback's options.

Early in the recruiting process, Illinois was considered the front-runner due in part to its proximity to Lunt's home and the potential opportunity for ample playing time. Derek Leonard, Lunt's high school coach in Illinois, thought the Illini would be "big players" in the quarterback's decision-making process from the get-go. Louisville was also in the mix for the quarterback's services.

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