Last winter there were plenty of rumors circulating that the Illini had made a healthy offer to then Houston coach Kevin Sumlin. In fact, from what I was told by sources of mine, it was more than just a rumor. Unfortunately for the Illini Texas A&M would decide to fire Mike Sherman a bit later than most other coaches had been fired and the Aggies swooped in with a nice offer for Sumlin as well.
We all know how it ended.
Still, there's a chance that Sumlin choosing A&M could benefit Illinois anyway. When Sumlin took the program over it was widely assumed that Jameill Showers would be his starting quarterback in 2012. After all, Showers served as the backup to Ryan Tannehill in 2011 and was a 3-star member of A&M's 2010 recruiting class. Things would not go to plan, however.
No, instead some kid named Johnny Manziel blew Sumlin's mind over the summer and Sumlin would surprise everybody when he announced Manziel would be the Aggies starter before the 2012 season.
We all know how that ended too.
And since Johnny Football won't be going anywhere any time soon it wasn't surprising earlier this week when the news broke that Jameill Showers would be transferring. So what I'm wondering now is whether or not Tim Beckman and his coaching staff should be trying to find out whether or not Showers would be interested in moving north to Champaign.
If there's one thing the Illini don't have enough of on the roster it's talent, particularly at quarterback. The question is whether or not Beckman and company would feel comfortable trying to get Showers while bringing in Aaron Bailey, who is the crown jewel of the 2013 recruiting class.
Which is great, but I am of the mind that there should be as much competition as possible for the job. Now, if he came to Champaign, Showers
wouldn't be eligible to play in 2013 graduates in May and would be eligible to play right away in 2013 (thanks, Jeremy Anthony). Which means Nathan Scheelhaase would have even more competition in 2013 besides a true freshman in Bailey and Reilly O'Toole.
Showers didn't get a lot of playing time at Texas A&M, but he was productive in the time he saw. Showers saw action in 10 games over his two seasons. He completed 63% of his passes while throwing for 359 yards and 2 touchdowns, averaging 7.33 yards per attempt. He also rushed 18 times for 72 yards and another touchdown. Not eye-popping numbers, but compare them to any Illini quarterback and tell me you wouldn't take the production in a heartbeat.
Now, if I haven't made this clear yet, I have not heard any rumblings about Illinois being interested in Showers or Showers being interested in Illinois. I just think that this is an option that Tim Beckman should consider pursuing. The worst thing that happens is Showers says no and we're all back to hoping Aaron Bailey is the savior again.
And if Showers does say no, he might not be our last option at a transfer quarterback. There are rumblings that Oklahoma State quarterback Wes Lunt may be looking for a new home soon as well. You'd have to think the Rochester, Illinois product would be interested in the Illini as well.
Whatever happens, there are options out there, and the Illini shouldn't ignore any of them.