“You hear people chirp from back home because everybody wants to see you succeed,” O’Toole said. “But all they see is the Saturday games where they don’t see me playing or playing a little bit here and there. They don’t see how much fun I’m having with my teammates and how great of a school this and how comfortable I feel here, being close to home, being close to my friends and my family.
O’Toole had 2 starts for the Illini last season when starter Nathan Scheelhaase was injured and has played 17 games over the past 2 seasons. He completed passes at a 68% rate with 7 touchdowns and 8 interceptions while amassing 834 yards.
The junior from Wheaton-Warrenville South is stuck behind the senior Scheelhaase for this season and has Oklahoma State transfer, sophomore Wes Lunt expected to be the starter next year. Despite the adversity O’Toole seems happy to be close to home and a member of the Illini.
“It’s more aspects to this school than just football. And I love the football aspect of it. Obviously there’s been a lot of talk about me transferring, but that’s just speculation. Not once have I thought about it. I love being here.”