Illinois Fighting Illini Football News: Altmyer Named Illinois Starting Quarterback

By Lady Williamson

Luke Altmyer throwing football (courtesy Illinois Athletic Communications)

Mon, Aug 21


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Illinois head coach Bret Bielema named Luke Altmyer the Fighting Illini’s starting quarterback, Bielema announced at his press conference Monday. Altmyer will take over at quarterback when Illinois opens the 2023 season on Sept. 2 against Toledo at Memorial Stadium.

Altmyer transferred to Illinois in January after two seasons at Ole Miss. He played in five games at Mississippi and transferred to the Illini with three years of eligibility remaining.

“We’ll announce today Luke Altmyer will be our starting quarterback going into the Toledo game,” Bielema said. “Last spring through this fall, I’ve been very impressed with the quarterback room in general. To have Barry (Lunney Jr.) back as a returning coordinator but also our QB coach, I think he’s brought a lot of continuity to that room, even though we have new faces.

“I’ve been very impressed by not just Luke’s play on the football field, but how he’s handled things. To walk into this environment, to have a lot of people from the outside world think he’s going to be that guy, to stand in front of his team and give cadence as a quarterback to speak in the huddle but also on the sideline and in the locker room, he’s really done a nice job of balancing all that.”

Altmyer was 28-for-54 passing (51.9%) for 317 yards and three touchdowns during his time at Ole Miss. 247Sports ranked him as the No. 10 transfer quarterback in the nation heading into 2023.

The Starkville, Mississippi, product was a highly touted recruit out of Starkville High School. He was a unanimous four-star recruit, the No. 116 recruit in the nation by ESPN, the No. 11 pro-style quarterback in the nation by Rivals, an Elite 11 finalist, and a 2021 Under Armour All-American. His prep career included over 4,600 yards combined in his junior and senior seasons and 53 touchdown passes.

Illinois’ passing game was among the most improved in the nation a year ago with transfer quarterback Tommy DeVito, who is now with the New York Giants. Illinois ranked third in the nation in completion percentage (69.6%), an 18.4% improvement year-over-year and a jump of 119 spots in the national rankings. DeVito, who transferred from Syracuse for one year in Champaign, set career highs in completions (257), passing yards (2,650), completion percentage (69.6%), passing efficiency (141.22), and rushing touchdowns (6), under first-year offensive coordinator Barry Lunney Jr.

Momentum around the Fighting Illini program is building at historic rates. Illinois has exceeded 10,000 new season tickets sold for the 2023 season, the most on record since 2007 when 11,653 new season tickets were purchased, while student season ticket sales have already surpassed the 2022 total.

Great seating options are available for Illinois’ season opener against Toledo, including the new Toledo FamILLy 4 Pack for only $49. FamILLy 4 Pack buyers can add additional tickets for $12.25 per ticket.

– #Illini –