Transfer Luke Altmyer wins Illinois QB job


Ole Miss transfer Luke Altmyer won the competition to be Illinois’ starting quarterback.

Head coach Bret Bielema said Monday that Altmyer was the best of the bunch from spring and fall reps and the former four-star recruit opens the season atop the depth chart. The Fighting Illini kick off the 2023 season on Sept. 2 against Toledo at Memorial Stadium in Champaign, Ill.

“I’ve been very impressed by not just Luke’s play on the football field, but how he’s handled things,” Beilema said. “To walk into this environment, to have a lot of people from the outside world think he’s going to be that guy, to stand in front of his team and give cadence as a quarterback to speak in the huddle but also on the sideline and in the locker room, he’s really done a nice job of balancing all that.”

Including this season, Altmyer has three years of eligibility remaining. He played in four games in 2022 at Ole Miss before redshirting, with his biggest production coming against Central Arkansas on Sept. 10, when he was 6 of 13 for 90 yards with two touchdowns and one interception.

Illinois was No. 3 in the FBS in completion percentage under Syracuse transfer Tommy DeVito, currently in training camp with the New York Giants, at quarterback last season.

Offensive coordinator Barry Lunney Jr. also serves as quarterbacks coach and used Altmyer as the first-team quarterback for the majority of the offseason.

Former Ball State starter John Paddock transferred to Illinois in the spring to compete with Altmyer and freshman Donovan Leary.

“They all want to be the guy, but they all understand that there’s only so many reps that go around and their job is iron sharpens iron and they just get better when the opportunity presents itself,” Lunney said.

–Field Level Media

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