It’s been an offseason full of uncertainty under center, and Illinois just added another wrinkle to the mix.
Former Michigan quarterback and top-100 recruit Brandon Peters announced his decision to join the Illini via his Instagram.
Peters, an Avon, Indiana native, was the No. 61 recruit in the class of 2016 and the top-ranked player in the Hoosier state. He held offers from Wisconsin, Nebraska, Iowa, and LSU among others.
He played sparingly for the Wolverines, throwing for 680 yards, four touchdowns, three interceptions, and notching a 52.7 completion percentage over eight appearances.
Ole Miss transfer Shea Patterson and Dylan McCaffrey edged out Peters on the depth chart, as did incoming freshman Joe Milton, according to the good people at Maize N Brew.
With Cam Thomas’ decision to transfer mid-season and MJ Rivers announcing his departure as well this off season, the Illini aren’t left with many options. There was talk both Tommy Stevens and Matt Fink would be calling Champaign home this fall, but both recruitments fell through.
Four-star recruit Isaiah Williams certainly has potential, but starting at the quarterback position is no small feat for even the most talented true freshmen. Redshirt freshmen Matt Robinson and Coran Taylor will compete with Peters and Williams at the quarterback position this summer.
Having rushed for -36 yards during his time as a Wolverine, it goes without saying that Peters did not run the ball much at Michigan. Peters shows sufficient mobility to escape the pocket when under pressure, but Rod Smith typically asks for much more from his quarterbacks on the ground. The closest comparison for Peters among recent Illinois quarterbacks would be Wes Lunt, who fit well in Bill Cubit’s quick release pass-first offense.
Take a look at some of Peters’ game footage from Michigan’s matchup with Rutgers at the Big House in 2017:
How exactly will Rod Smith use Brandon Peters? Will Peters mesh well with the Illini receiving corps? Can Peters learn to run the speed option and make the correct reads over the next few months? Questions abound for now, but we’ll learn more in August.
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