The competition still pursues the ‘Big Play’ Deuce Spann
CHAMPAIGN (WCIA) – Deuce Spann has a new nickname and in the first three games of the season he’s more than up to the task.
“They call me the great Deuce Square,” says the sophomore.
“I’ll call him what he wants because he’s making big plays,” said head coach Bret Bielema. “I hope it’s not like giant shrimp, is it, not an oxymoron, so I hope the big Deuce sticks play.”
And so far, the first year of Illini redshirt has been a flagship machine. Spann went from quarterback to spreader just two weeks before the start of the season. Now the 6’4 ‘Florida native is the Illini’s deep threat. His first catch was a 45-yard pass that almost went for a touchdown.
“It was exciting because it was my first time playing in a college game before,” said Spann.
“He’s got to get a bigger role every week and Deuce is super excited, we’re excited about Deuce, I love where he is right now,” said offensive coordinator Tony Petersen. “The more we have it in the football game, the better off we are.”
Spann made the transition easy with three catches in three games for 109 yards and two touchdowns. And he doesn’t do it alone. Isaiah Williams has also gone from QB to wide receiver this offseason.
“The most important thing I tell him is to go out there and have fun,” says Williams. “Be unique and you, be special.”
“He’s an athlete, so he’s good at everything, so I took him because I can do the same as him,” says Spann. “In the quarterback you have to know everything, so on the receiver it’s really a little easier because you only have to know one thing. “
More than anything, Spann brings speed.
“Yeah, I don’t even think it’s close,” Williams said to a question about Spann being the fastest on the team.
“He’s on the next level like Olympic speed, so I mean, the dude is really fast,” said running back Chase Brown.
And at this point, the competition is still trying to catch up.