Answers to the Aaron Bailey questions soon will begin to take shape.
Will Bailey—a Bolingbrook High School graduate—make an instant impact playing quarterback as a true freshman at the University of Illinois? Will he overtake starter Nathan Scheelhaase and backup Reilly O’Toole and win the starting job?
Or will Bailey be used primarily to run the read-option in short-yardage and goal-line situations, taking advantage of his gifted feet and keen football instincts? Or on special teams?
Well, this much is known: Bailey is listed No. 3 on the depth chart at quarterback heading into Illinois’ season opener, an 11 a.m. kickoff Saturday (Aug. 31) vs. Southern Illinois at Memorial Stadium in Champaign (TV: Big Ten Network). Insiders expect him to get some playing time.
And that line of thinking falls in step with comments made by Illinois football coach Tim Beckman in a Chicago Tribune report.
“If I could say right now whether he’s getting redshirted, I’d say no,” Beckman stated in the report. “Aaron Bailey can help us do things. You never know, but right now I would say that Aaron Bailey is going to play for the 2013 Illini.”
Bailey led Bolingbrook to an 8-3 record in 2012 as the Raiders reached the second round of the Class 8A playoffs before falling to Neuqua Valley 44-33.