90i #26: Reilly O'Toole
6'-4", 220 lbs.
Junior (on scholarship, 3 years to play 2)
Wheaton Warrenville South High School / Wheaton, Illinois
Jersey Number: #4
What I Know About Him:
This section gets more and more difficult as the list nears the top. When I'm in the 70's, I like to think I'm letting you know some things about a player you know very little about. By the time I reach Nathan Scheelhaase, you already know everything about him. So I have to get creative.
I think the thing that surprises me the most about Reilly O'Toole is his close friendship with Nathan Scheelhaase. I can't remember a starter and a backup who were closer off the field than Nate and Reilly. When Scheelhaase got married last month, O'Toole was a groomsman. When Ryan Lankford tweets a Vine about STEVEHULL throwing up before skydiving, it's Nate and Reilly (and Miles Osei) laughing in the background. If Twitter is any indication, those five guys are inseparable.
I've never known if that's a good thing or a bad thing. For our offense, I would hope it's a good thing for this season. Our top two quarterbacks and our three senior receivers are all best of friends. I always want that to mean "they know what the other one is thinking" and expect a passing attack that's completely on the same page this fall.
But when the starter and the backup are genuinely pulling for each other (instead of desperately fighting for the starting spot), IS it a good thing? Is there too much happiness and not enough tension? Yeah, you're right, I'm reading too much into it.
What I Expect From Him:
O'Toole is somewhat the forgotten man with all of the quarterback goings-on the last several months. Wes Lunt transfers in. Aaron Bailey arrives on campus. We've all (myself included) started wondering what their QB competition will be like next spring and summer.
But what about O'Toole? What if Bill Cubit The Quarterback Guru (I believe that's his name on his birth certificate) can fix O'Toole delivery and improve his accuracy? What if this offense is ten times a better fit for O'Toole than the Beatty/Gonzales offense? What if O'Toole beats out Nathan Scheelhaase this fall?
All of this is possible. Not probable, but possible. First things last, O'Toole would have to eliminate the mistakes he made in the spring game (where he threw for 362 yards but was intercepted four times). Tim Beckman has said he wants to emphasize turnovers this season, and four interceptions will earn you a long stretch on the bench.
But O'Toole still might have the skills to put it all together under Cubit. It wouldn't be the first time that a quarterback reached their upperclassman years and, in the right offense, started to grow by leaps and bounds.