Eddie McGee and the Half-Blood Prince

The scribe, Eddie McGee
The scribe, Eddie McGee

June 11, 2010

About a week ago it became public news that Nate Scheelhasse would be the starting quarterback for this year's team. Throughout the course of spring we were all curious as to who would earn the spot. With all of the new modifications, such as: the new coaches, playbook installments, new practice style and system, and position changes, Nate demonstrated the necessary characteristics of a starting quarterback.

Let me tell the story of when I first met Nate. Two years ago in 2008 during Camp Rantoul, this big head kid walks up and starts watching us practice so intensely that I couldn't decide if he was a recruit or just a baby faced NFL scout. I even thought I saw him pull out a pen and pad and start taking notes. Later that day, Nate sat in on one of our meetings where he displayed knowledge of defensive coverages and fronts leaving Juice and I amazed at the youngster. The next year when he arrived to his very first collegiate fall camp, in the gruesomeness of Rantoul I felt that he handled himself very well. I have continuously been taken aback by not only the actions of Nate, but also his reactions.

I say all of this to illustrate the type of person and football player Nate is. He is a smart young man. You can find Nate in the film room and practice field before the stadium opens and after it closes. He works extremely hard to be on top of his assignments and is always trying to gain more knowledge about his craft. During the spring, he exemplified and combined his work habits along with his God-given talent and abilities. He not only won the starting position but he also won the respect and favor of the team as well. The coaches believe and trust in Nate, as well as the entire offense.

Even the defensive players embrace Nate. Tavon Wilson said during a conversation between us "I like Nate, he is smart and he is exciting. I like how when he makes a play, he jumps up and gets everybody into it. We need that."

Some may say that Nate doesn't have the game experience and he may be too young. But I know that he will do an awesome job leading and moving the team up and down the field. For all of Nate's inexperience he covers that ground with his intense preparations and his natural ability will help him to be successful. I trust and believe in Nate, so does the rest of the team and we will have his back throughout the season.

Go Illini!