If it wasn't clear before, it is clear now. Illinois is looking for a new type of quarterback.
Illini offensive coordinator Garrick McGee has worked well with pocket passers in the past, such as Ryan Mallett and Tyler WIlson at Arkansas and Kyle Bolin at Louisville. He likes to have pocket passers on his depth chart to give his offenses versatility.
But McGee prefers dual-threat quarterbacks who can pick defenses apart from the pocket but also improvise and provide problems with their feet.
Alabama athlete Kadarius Toney certainly fits the bill.
"Coach McGee called," Toney said. "He said they don't have a quarterback like me on campus. And I thought like, 'Wow! Another opportunity."
Illinois is the fourth power-five conference team to offer Toney, who some are recruiting as a wide receiver. The 5-foot-11, 180-pound quarterback also holds offers from Georgia Tech, South Carolina, Wake Forest and Memphis, among others.
Growing up an Auburn fan in SEC country, Toney admits he doesn't yet know much about Illinois. But he knows about Lovie Smith, the former Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach, and he's learning more about Illinois.
"I think Coach Smith is a great guy with experience," Toney said. "He brought a great staff with him. I don't know much about Illinois, but I'm approaching recruiting with an open ear to everyone who is interesting in me.
"(Illinois told me they want me to be the player that I am basically. But there's a process to it. It's not just a quick sell."