Any time a team takes on a graduate transfer quarterback, chances are high that means someone will eventually be on the way out of the program. Such appears to be the case at Illinois as the program announced that backup Cam Thomas has left the team “for personal reasons” on Thursday.
Thomas failed to take any snaps in the Illini’s narrow win over Kent State in Week 1 and it’s possible he was set to be passed on the depth chart by freshmen Matt Robinson and M.J. Rivers at some point later this season even despite being the likely backup to starter A.J. Bush.
The loss of Thomas certainly hurts the team’s depth as he and Bush were the only ones to have taken snaps at the collegiate level. In four games (two starts) as a true freshman last year, Thomas showed some flashes running the ball (233 yards, one touchdown) but was shaky as a passer. He completed only 28 of his 66 passes for 375 yards through the air and threw five interceptions with no touchdown passes.
The sophomore from the Chicago area was considered a three-star prospect coming out of high school by 247Sports and seemed to garner interest from Big Ten and MAC schools from around the region.
With Thomas likely ticketed for a transfer, the Illinois quarterback job now seems firmly in the hands of Bush going forward. The graduate transfer, who is on his third Power Five school (Nebraska and Virginia Tech being the others) and fourth overall in five years, threw for 190 yards and rushed for 139 more on Saturday in the team’s season opener.