CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — Lovie Smith ended the quarterback competition on Monday by naming graduate transfer AJ Bush as the starting quarterback for the opener against Kent State.
Bush joined the Illini for the start of training camp and quickly took control of the offense, and the team. He started his career at Nebraska before transferring to Iowa Western, then transferring again to Virginia Tech where he rarely saw the field.
“He started practicing with our football team for training camp, moved into a leadership role right away,” Lovie Smith said. “Based on what he’s done on and off the field, really like what he will bring to the table for us offensively.”
“I just came in a proved my leadership, proved my experience, my talents, what I really believe I can do,” Bush added. “I really just wanted to come in and show everybody that this is what I’m capable of, this is what I’m blessed to be able to do and I got a great chance.”
The Illini kick off their season on Saturday at 11 a.m. hosting Kent State.