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posted: 9/5/2012 7:41 PM

Illini coach will make starting QB call Thursday

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  • Illini head coach Tim Beckman isn't expected to announce whether starting QB Nathan Scheelhaase, who injured his ankle in the Western Michigan game, will be allowed to play Saturday at Arizona State. Scheelhaase practiced Wednesday and Beckman said he appears to be making progress.

      Illini head coach Tim Beckman isn't expected to announce whether starting QB Nathan Scheelhaase, who injured his ankle in the Western Michigan game, will be allowed to play Saturday at Arizona State. Scheelhaase practiced Wednesday and Beckman said he appears to be making progress.
    Associated Press

 
 

There are still three candidates to start at quarterback for Illinois on Saturday at Arizona State.

Coach Tim Beckman expects to have a decision after Thursday's practice. Starter Nathan Scheelhaase participated in Wednesday's drills, but is still recovering from an ankle injury suffered in last weekend's 24-7 win over Western Michigan.

"He's much better than he was yesterday," Beckman told reporters in Champaign following Wednesday's workout.

"He said he felt pretty good. It's been progressing and we'll have to make that decision on Thursday after practice."

With that, Beckman refused to answer any more questions about Scheelhaase's status, but he did talk about the two backups who could start in his place -- Reilly O'Toole (Wheaton Warrenville South) and Miles Osei (Prospect).

"Riley and Miles are probably neck and neck right now to determine who's going to be the starting quarterback for us on Thursday," Beckman said. "We'll see how Nathan progresses. Of course, Nathan hasn't had a number of reps. Riley and Miles, they both had reps with the ones (first team). We'll make the decision on Thursday after practice."

Both O'Toole and Osei saw action late in the Western Michigan game, but the Illini picked up just 1 first down during the five series the backup quarterbacks were on the field.

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