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Cam Thomas (10) and A.J. Bush (1) throw during the University of Illinois Fall Football Camp. Bush was selected as the Illini's starting quarterback, and Thomas announced Thursday that he has left the program for personal reasons.

CHAMPAIGN — Illinois sophomore quarterback Cam Thomas has left the football program for "personal reasons," according to a news release from the university.

Thomas, a Chicago Heights native who played in high school at Woodstock Marian, played in four games for the Illini in the 2017 season, including two starts as a true freshman. He threw for 375 yards and no touchdowns while rushing for 299 yards and a touchdown.

Fifth-year graduate transfer AJ Bush Jr. joined the team in fall camp and won the starting job outright. Bush accounted for 329 yards of total offense (139 rushing and 190 passing) in his first Division I start in Illinois' Week 1 win against Kent State.

Thomas, who was the only scholarship quarterback in spring practices, did not see any time on the field against Kent State.

Head coach Lovie Smtih did not designate any quarterback as the clear No. 2 on last week's depth chart against Kent State. He was one of four quarterbacks listed as the possible backup to Bush.

There are three scholarship quarterbacks behind Bush, and all three — MJ Rivers II, Matt Robinson and Coran Taylor — are freshmen.

Entering the season, Thomas was the only quarterback to start an NCAA Division I football game and the only to play quarterback at Illinois.

Last year, Thomas was the third-string QB to start the season, but got on the field after Chayce Crouch struggled in his four starts and Jeff George Jr. didn't perform well in his shot at the job.

Thomas first split time with George, then started at Purdue. But a concussion derailed his season. He didn't start again until the final game of the year, against Northwestern.

Illinois hosts Western Illinois at 6:30 p.m. Saturday.

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Contact Joey Wagner at (217) 421-6970. Follow him on Twitter: @mrwagner25

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Reporter

Reporter for Lee Enterprises Central Illinois.

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