Former Syracuse quarterback Tommy DeVito announced on Friday that he plans to transfer to Illinois. He announced his destination on Twitter.
— Tommy DeVito (@tommydevito007) December 11, 2021
With the Illini, DeVito will be tasked with reinvigorating a pass game that performed nearly as poorly as Syracuse’s last season. The Orange totaled 1,836 passing yards last season, primarily behind Garrett Shrader and DeVito, while Illinois quarterbacks combined for 1,874 passing yards. Both teams finished 5-7.
Illinois’ starter last season, Brandon Peters, has used up all his eligibility, while backup Artur Sitkowski, a transfer from Rutgers, will be the returning option and, seemingly, DeVito’s competition for the job.
While Sitkowski had some decent September efforts after an injury sidelined Peters, he failed to throw for 60 yards in either of his final appearances before suffering a season-ending injury that is expected to sideline him for the spring.
DeVito came to Syracuse as a four-star recruit in 2017, expected to flourish in head coach Dino Babers’ offense, one that had excelled during the first few years of his tenure at SU, as well as at Bowling Green and Eastern Illinois.
DeVito threw for 2,360 yards in a passable 2019, but dealt with injuries during that season and again in 2020, as the Orange struggled to find ways to keep him upright and limit the battering he faced. He was replaced four games into the 2021 season by a more mobile option in Garrett Shrader and left the Orange three weeks later.
The switch of quarterbacks reinvigorated Syracuse’s offense for a time but also flashed some limitations as the season came to a close.
Illinois is coached by Bret Bielema, who is in his second year leading the team. During previous stops at Wisconsin and Arkansas, Bielema has leaned heavily on the run. Former Syracuse offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach George McDonald is also on the staff.