Illini land Michigan grad transfer QB Brandon Peters

Illini land Michigan grad transfer QB Brandon Peters

Illinois is adding another former top-200 prospect to its roster — this time at the most important position on the team.

Michigan graduate transfer quarterback Brandon Peters will transfer to Illinois, he announced Tuesday on Instagram. He is the sixth former top-200 prospect to transfer to Illinois this offseason, joining Georgia tight end Luke Ford, Alabama offensive lineman Richie Petitbon, Southern California defensive end Oluwole Betiku Jr.. and Southern California wide receivers Trevon Sidney and Josh Imatorbhebhe.

Peters will graduate from Michigan this summer and join the Illini with two years of eligibility remaining. In two seasons in Ann Arbor, the 6-foot-5, 230-pound Avon (Ind.) native completed 58 of 110 passes during his career for 680 yards, four touchdowns and three interceptions.

After starting four games at Michigan in 2017, Peters will have a good chance to again win a Big Ten starting job. After MJ Rivers II entered the transfer portal this spring, Illinois returns just six collegiate pass attempts of experience (redshirt freshman Matt Robinson), though Peters’ top competition likely will come from incoming four-star athlete Isaiah Williams, the two-time Missouri Gatorade Player of the Year.

The No. 61 overall prospect in the Class of 2016 and the No. 6 pro-style quarterback in the class, Peters was a significant early get for Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh, and he looked to be a possible long-term option for the Wolverines — until Ole Miss transfer Shea Patterson came into the fold.

Peters showed early promise as a redshirt freshman when he came in relief and completed 10 of 14 passes for 124 yards and a touchdown in a 35-7 win over Rutgers. He then took over the starting role and led Michigan to wins over Minnesota and Maryland, combining for 17-for-31 passing for 201 yards and three touchdowns in those two games.

But Peters didn’t make big plays in a loss at Wisconsin (9-for-18 for 157 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT) and left the game with a concussion. He returned for the Outback Bowl against South Carolina but played poorly in a loss (20-for-44, 186 yards, 0 TDs, 2 INTs). Patterson then won the job in 2018, and Peters only completed 1 of 2 passes for 8 yards and an interception, slipping down the depth chart behind younger talents Dylan McCaffery and Joe Milton.

As Illini Inquirer broke down in a film review, Peters is mostly a pocket passer though he has the ability to prolong plays and escape pressure with his feet. He has plus arm strength, though he struggled with deep-ball accuracy in his limited reps at Michigan, which largely used him as a game manager in 2017 as a redshirt freshman.

247Sports prep evaluation of Peters

“Good height and is continuing to fill his frame in. Is a good athlete who can run and escape pressure, but he also shows good awareness and feel in the pocket. Gets rid of the ball quickly and has the arm to make throws to the sideline and drive the ball downfield. As he gets bigger and stronger, that should only increase. Smart kid, tough, calm under pressure. Must continue to work on reading defenses and going through his progressions.” – Allen Trieu

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