Bill Cubit Talks About Next Year's QB Competition

Bradley Leeb-USA TODAY Sports

He says it's a three-horse race.

Bill Cubit talked to the Chicago Sun-Times' Steve Greenberg, and while there's quite a bit in the interview worth your time -- seriously, go read the whole thing after we're done here -- there was one portion of the interview that I know you'll be very interested in. One would only have to look at the question's submitted for this week's #AskTCR to know that the only subject more popular with Illini fans when it comes to football than who our quarterback will be next season is "WHY HASN'T TIM BANKS BEEN FIRED YET? ARE THEY FIRING HIM SOON? SHOULD THEY EVEN LET HIM LIVE?"

Well, Cubit didn't talk about his coordinating counterpart, but he did talk about the quarterback position for next year. And he said some things that might surprise you.

"There's three of them with a chance to [start] - I mean that. Reilly pushed Nate pretty well in the preseason. In the spring, there were some times you could make the argument Reilly could be the guy.

"Reilly has had some really noticeable turnovers, and everybody looks and says, ‘He ain't the guy.' I've seen him every single day. He knows the offense, knows what we've got to get done, does some really good things. He's got to be the guy who says, ‘I'm gonna be the guy.' You know? Instead of just being one of the guys. They're all going to have to take charge now. The guy who goes in there and says ‘it's my job' is going to have a leg up on everybody."

And while I was somewhat surprised to see Cubit touting O'Toole so much, I'm not sure how much I buy the fact that he's got a legitimate shot next season. To be honest, I think if Reilly O'Toole is starting for us against Youngstown State in August then something has gone horribly awry.

As for Wes Lunt and Aaron Bailey, Cubit also made sure to say that he's flexible when it comes to his offense.

"I've seen what Wes can do; he's really talented throwing the football. You see what Aaron can do with a little bit different skill set. ... We can do it either way with the offense, but I think we've been pretty successful throwing it."

Now, if I'm going to read between the lines here, I'd have to say Lunt is your winner based solely on what Cubit said. Cubit said that Lunt is "really talented throwing the football" and then said Aaron has a "little bit different skill set." Which, to me, means Cubit isn't as impressed with Bailey as a passer as he is with Lunt.

And then he finishes by saying while he can go either way he's "been pretty successful throwing it."

Now, again, these are all words in early December. There's a lot of things that will happen between now and the time next season starts. For all we know Aaron Bailey will show up for spring practice in a few months and sling the football all over the damn field, making every throw and impressing every coach out there, especially Cubit. Bailey may then outperform Lunt in all the drills, and kick ass in the spring game before having a great summer at Camp Rantoul and eventually be named our starting quarterback.

However, right now, I think it's pretty clear that Lunt is your front-runner.

Follow The Champaign Room on Twitter at @Champaign_Room and Like us on Facebook. You can follow Tom Fornelli on Twitter at @TomFornelli.

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