Illinois QB Jimmy Fitzgerald leaving school
Illinois QB Jimmy Fitzgerald has left the program, the school announced Wednesday.
The Champaign, Ill., native redshirted last season and had not been practicing with the team. He was behind senior starter Wes Lunt, redshirt sophomore Chayce Crouch and was listed as the co-No. 3 quarterback with Jeff George Jr.
Fitzgerald was a 3-star recruit in the class of 2015. He was the No. 33 pro-style QB in the country and No. 21 player in Illinois, but tore his ACL as a senior and played in just two games.
“After much thought and discussion with my family, I have decided to leave the Illinois football program and consider other opportunities for my collegiate career,” Fitzgerald said in a statement. “I want to thank all the coaches I’ve played for and worked with at Illinois, including Coach Beckman, Coach Cubit and Coach Smith. My Illini teammates are an incredible bunch of guys and many will remain friends for life. Having grown up in this community, I’ve been a life-long fan of the Fighting Illini and it was a fantastic thrill and opportunity to wear the orange and blue. I know there are great things in the future for the Fighting Illini, but I feel this is the time for a fresh start in my collegiate career.”
Fitzgerald would have to sit out a season if he transfers to an FBS school.