STILLWATER — Decision time appears to be looming for former Oklahoma State quarterback Wes Lunt.
Mike Gundy blocked three of the five schools Lunt requested as release options. The quarterback has visited the other two — Louisville and Illinois — within the last few weeks.
Here's a look at the factors Lunt could be weighing as he picks his new school.
Conference: Big Ten
2012 record: 2-10 (0-8 Big Ten)
Head coach: Tim Beckman
Offensive coordinator: Bill Cubit
Location, location, location.
Illinois' campus in Champaign is about 90 miles northeast of Lunt's hometown of Rochester, and playing nearby certainly has its advantages.
Lunt's family is close, as his parents have made a pact that at least one of them will be at all of Wes' games, home or away. It's much easier to travel to Ohio and Michigan and Wisconsin than it is to travel to Oklahoma (six or seven times per season) and Texas and Kansas.
And most people have plenty of pride in where they grew up. If Lunt could help lead an Illinois resurgence — remember when Juice Williams and Rashard Mendenhall and Co. went to the Rose Bowl in 2008? — Lunt would become a hometown hero.
Not to mention, there's very little chance any quarterback that will be on the Illinois roster in 2014 is as gifted as Lunt. No more quarterback competition. The starting job would be his.
Easy. This program is in bad shape.
Beckman, a former OSU defensive coordinator, had a brutal first season at the helm. His leash likely isn't very long. After making the necessary adjustments that come with transferring, going through a coaching change — which often come with system tweaks — would not be ideal for Lunt.
A top-notch quarterback can go a long way in making a head coach look good, but Lunt would need lots of help. Illinois ranked dead last in the offensively challenged Big Ten in scoring offense and total offense last season. Beckman brought in Cubit — the former head coach at Western Michigan who previously made stops as an assistant at Florida, Missouri, Rutgers and Stanford — during the offseason to try to improve that side of the ball.