Illinois Lands JUCO Commit Dwayne Lawson, Former Virginia Tech Quarterback

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Dwayne Lawson, Illinois football, Virginia Tech
Former Virginia Tech quarterback Dwayne Lawson, a junior college transfer, will play at Illinois next season. (Photo courtesy Twitter @FanRan_U)

Exciting news Monday night for the Illinois football team – which needed some as many Big Ten rivals prepare for bowl games and they prepare for a long winter.

According to Jim Vainisi of The Champaign Room, the Illini have secured a commitment from junior college player Dwayne Lawson, a former Virginia Tech quarterback.

Lawson announced the commitment on Twitter and it’s a big one for Lovie Smith and his staff, as the JUCO quarterback will be eligible to play next season and will have two years remaining.

Out of high school, Lawson chose Virginia Tech although he reportedly also had offers from Miami, Ohio State, Ole Miss, Auburn and Florida State. He was a four-star recruit and was the No. 14 pro style recruit in his class, according to 247Sports. Lawson initially verbally committed to the Miami Hurricanes.

Jeremy Werner of Scout.com has interesting perspective on those rankings:

Lawson, who spent last season at Garden City Community College, is a monster. That height and weight is legit. He was the No. 29 quarterback in Scout’s rankings of the Class of 2015, one spot ahead of Lamar Jackson, whom (Illinois offensive coordinator Garrick) McGee signed at Louisville. Lawson’s tools are comparable. His ceiling is monstrous. Don’t believe me? Look at his high school film.

In Blacksburg, Lawson was 3 of 9 for his career, appearing in five games as a freshman. He left the Atlantic Coast Conference school after Justin Fuente took over as coach for the retired Frank Beamer.

He attended Garden City (Kan.) Community College this past season.

Illinois offers a great opportunity for Lawson, as he will have a chance to start right away. Wes Lunt’s graduation creates an opening at QB-1, which should also be contested by Chayce Crouch and Jeff George Jr. Incoming freshman Cam Thomas also will join the program next season.

Lawson looks the part, standing at 6-foot-6 and 220 pounds. We’ll see down the road if he can lift the Illini to the point where December is full of practices and bowl game plans and not long waits until next year.

So what’s the bad news?

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