The 90 Illini #75: Deuce Spann
When I was a kid I had this collection of NFL mini helmets. The real tiny plastic ones. I'd arrange them by the current standings, and then in the offseason I'd arrange them in draft order and such. Other kids were playing with their GI Joe's but I was realigning the NFL. The St. Louis Football Cardinals in the NFC East? Nah - let's fix that.
I do the same thing with my Illini toys. I don't have mini helmets for every player (wait, could I?), but I'm constantly re-arranging the depth chart in my head. My latest project: getting all of the 2022 offensive skill players on the field at the same time. The current alignment: Deuce Spann at QB, Reggie Love at RB, Isaiah Williams, Brian Hightower, and James Frenchie at WR, and Luke Ford at TE. Deuce throwing to The One. Somebody please make it happen.
75. Deuce Spann
Uniform number: not known yet but I'm hoping it's #2
Year in school: True Freshman (5 years to play 4)
Height: 6'-4" -- Weight: 195 lbs.
Hometown: St. Petersburg, Florida
High School: Lakewood High School
Five best offers: Auburn, Georgia, Florida State, Miami (FL), Virginia Tech
Tom Cruise rating: 4 Cruises
Perhaps one out of every five blue chip quarterbacks make it in college. Five-star QB's flame out all the time, and maybe one out of every 10 three-star QB's actually have what it takes to run a college offense. Look at Northwestern last year. They had four guys (including a five-star) and then just couldn't find anyone to deliver the ball to a receiver.
So giving 4 Cruises to a quarterback is just asking for a flop. When coaches bring in a high school QB, they don't even know whether he'll be able to make the correct decision under duress. You have to find a guy who gets 61 out of 61 on the test because if it's 59 out of 61 those two mistakes are probably pick-sixes. Nobody really knows until the guy is out there in a live game.
That said, FOUR TOM CRUISES FOR DEUCE SPANN. I don't think you could design a better QB for this offense. He's already pushed me to move Isaiah Williams to wideout so that we can get both guys on the field at the same time. I really want to see him win the starting job as a redshirt freshman in 2021.
That said, he's still a true freshman behind a senior starter. So there's no need to rush things here. Redshirt him and then put him in the big QB competition in 2021. I just put this list out there when discussing Coran Taylor a few days ago, but let's go through it again. For the 2021 starting QB, the coaches will need to choose from:
Matt Robinson (rJR)
Coran Taylor (rJR)
Isaiah Williams (rSO)
Deuce Spann (rFR)
Samari Collier (FR)
I mean, the most likely scenario is Isaiah Williams winning the job. He picked Illinois over Alabama/Clemson/Ohio State/everyone because we would give him a shot at QB. We'll more than likely give him that shot in 2021.
But I still want to find a way to get both IW and Deuce on the field at the same time. To me, the best way is The One at WR and Deuce at QB.
(For this year, though, redshirt Deuce.)