The Illini will be in a great spot to find a quarterback this season after re-signing Thomas and re-upping him to a max contract.
But with quarterback coach Brad Underwood leaving for a different position, the Illinis may have to look elsewhere for a replacement.
Underwood was a part of a successful recruiting class in 2017 and 2018 that included former Oregon Ducks quarterback Connor Halliday and Wisconsin Badgers quarterback Patrick Mahomes.
He also has a relationship with quarterback prospects Jaylon Taylor and Connor Cook.
The two quarterbacks will compete for the starting job and will be competing for the spot on the team in 2018.
With both of those quarterbacks entering their sophomore seasons in the NFL, the question for the Illinos is whether the offensive line will be ready to compete at the next level.
The line did improve under Underwood and Taylor but struggled under Mahomes in 2016 and 2017.
Under Wood has been one of the best offensive line coaches in college football and he’s not leaving the team.
Under Woods is a one-man show and that is evident in the depth of the staff.
The offensive line was not the issue for Underwood last season, and it was not under Under Woods that the Illies offense struggled.
But there is a new offensive line coach who has had success.
The Illinis need a quarterback, and Underwood could provide them that if he brings back Thomas.