Beckman uncertain about Illini’s QB
BY HERB GOULD Twitter: @HerbGould September 5, 2012 1:26PM
In this photo taken Sept. 1, 2012, Illinois quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase passes against Western Michigan during an NCAA college football game in Champaign, Ill. Head coach Tim Beckman isn't expected to announce whether Scheelhaase, who injured his ankle in the game, will be allowed to play Saturday, Sept. 8 at Arizona State. Scheelhaase did practice Wednesday and may be able to play. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)
Updated: September 5, 2012 2:36PM
After sitting out Tuesday, Nathan Scheelhaase practiced on his sprained left ankle on Wednesday, but Illlini coach Tim Beckman still is considering starting Miles Osei or Reilly O’Toole at Arizona State Saturday night (9:30 p.m., ESPN).
``He’s much better than he was yesterday,’’ Beckman said. ``We’ll see how [the ankle] responds. It’s been progressing, and we’ll have to make that decision on Thursday after practice.’’
Beckman, who said he routinely tries to divide reps equally among his quarterbacks, is not expected to announce the decision publicly. That not only would keep the Sun Devils guessing. Beckman and his staff could change their starting QB plan right before kickoff, depending on Scheelhaase’s ankle and their confidence in Osei or O’Toole.
Although O’Toole, who saw a lot of playing time last fall, is more experienced, Osei has been impressive in pre-season practice, showing a strong arm as well as mobility. Beckman has vowed to use Osei at wide receiver and running back, if not quarterback, this week.