Senior transfer Tommy DeVito named Illinois starting quarterback

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Sydney Laput

Senior quaterback Tommy DeVito (3) passes the ball to junior running back Chase Brown (2) during the Spring Orange and Blue game on April 21. DeVito, who transferred from Syracuse, will be this seasons starting quarterback.

By Jonathan Alday, Assistant Sports Editor

After trying to hold the starting lineup a secret, head coach Bret Bielema announced on Thursday that Syracuse transfer Tommy DeVito will start for Illinois for its Week 0 matchup against Wyoming.

DeVito, who played in 24 games at Syracuse, completed 305-of-520 (.586) passes for 3,478 yards and 27 touchdowns with his former team.

Arriving on campus last spring, he managed to gain a significant amount of reps over junior Art Sitowski, who was rehabbing from two surgeries.

“I think Tommy has made a big jump from last spring to where we are,” Bielema said.

With a more hands-on opportunity to figure out new offensive coordinator Barry Lunney Jr.’s offensive scheme on the field, he was able to build rapport with many of his teammates and show his level of confidence.

“He just brings a swag and confidence. He’s got that Jersey swagger,” sophomore wide receiver Isaiah Williams said. “It’s always encouragement, and I feel like that’s what we need because it’s not always going to go right.”

Illinois ranked 112th in the FBS in total offense per game last season, forcing Bielema to rethink the offensive leaders and schemes which he shows on the field.

Saturday will be DeVito’s first test behind a new offensive line and hearing different play calls than those at Syracuse, where he often saw inconsistent results.

 

@JonathanAlday7

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