Quarterback Wes Lunt Talks About His Game

The Fighting Illini football team is looking to add quality depth to the quarterback corps this next recruiting season. There will be only three quarterbacks on scholarship this fall, so there is room for top-flight additions. One of the upcoming seniors on the Illini radar is Rochester signal-caller Wes Lunt.

Wes Lunt led Rochester to the Class 4-A Illinois State championship this past November. The 6'-5", 185 pounder displayed a strong and accurate arm in helping dismantle Rock Island Alleman 24-7.

Lunt describes his best traits as a quarterback.

"I complete passes. That's what Coach (Derek) Leonard is always emphasizing. I made good decisions this year, but I need to make better decisions. There were some things I really didn't know coming into the position, being new at it. Coach Leonard does a great job of preparing me for each game."

Lunt is especially adept with the short passing game.

"Yeah, I think that is my strength. I feel more comfortable with it because we throw a lot of short balls in our passing game. We really don't throw a lot of deep balls. We didn't have to this year because we had such a good running game."

The Rochester offensive line protected Lunt well in the championship game; he wasn't sacked once. Some have wondered about his ability to evade the rush. He believes he has a good feel for that.

"I can get away when I need to. I'm not gonna tuck it and run; I'm gonna find the open receiver. I can do it and pick up positive yardage. I can respond to pressure when I need to. I'll try to find the open receiver before I run."

What are some things he wants to work on?

"Mobility, footwork, reading defenses and making better decisions."

He was seen throwing a couple balls sidearm in the championship game. That is something else he is working to improve.

"It all starts with footwork. I tend to over-stride and drop my elbow a little. But we're working on that, trying to get that fixed."

With older brother Will expected to start at quarterback for Western Michigan as a redshirt junior this year, and former Rochester star Sean Robinson now completing his freshman year at Purdue, most assume Lunt has been playing quarterback all his life. That is incorrect.

"I played receiver when I started football in eighth grade. I started playing quarterback my freshman year, so I haven't been playing quarterback that long. My teammates make me feel comfortable out there, my offensive linemen get in good positions. I'm still a little nervous, but it helps."

Lunt has been brought along slowly and carefully, and it has paid off. Robinson got thrown to the wolves as a freshman at Purdue. Lunt is grateful he hasn't had similar experiences.

"I can't imagine what he had to go through. He had to get thrown in there as a true freshman due to injuries, and I thought he did a great job."

Still, having an older brother and teammate as role models is a great benefit.

"My brother and Sean have taught me a lot. It's been great to have them and Coach Leonard there."

Being an Illinois fan growing up, Lunt was pleased to receive a verbal offer from the state school. He lists his offers and the other schools that are talking with him at this time.

"I have offers from Illinois, SMU, Boston College and Western Michigan. I'm also talking to Wisconsin, Iowa, Michigan State, Iowa State and Kansas State. Those are the main ones I can think of right now."

What is he looking for in a school?

"Coaching staffs. I know people are always asking if location is a factor for me. My parents want to come and see every game they can. That's a big factor. And the type of offense the run; I'm a pro-style guy. Those are the main ones."

Football is not his only sport. Basketball consumes his time during the winter.

"We're doing good. We started off kind of shaky. Our conference is definitely a basketball-dominated conference. We're 10 and 17 now, but we were like 0 and 12. So we're getting better. We're getting ready for regionals.

"I'm a shooting guard. I'm the tallest kid on my team. I'm not trying to be cocky, but I can shoot. In the spring I'll lift and get ready for football."

With such a busy schedule, it is difficult to arrange college visits. But he has found time to take in a few recently.

"I went to Indiana's and Purdue's Junior Days. And then I'm going to Illinois and Michigan State."

Most quarterbacks attend summer camps to hone their skills and work with quarterback coaches who may be coaching them someday. Lunt wants to do that, but his summer will busy.

"Yeah, I'm just waiting for basketball season to get over. Coach Leonard and I will then meet to see what I'm gonna do over the summer. I'm usually very busy in the summer, so I'll try to work around that."

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