CHAMPAIGN — Two days after quarterback MJ Rivers II announced his intent to transfer from the Illinois football program, the Illini landed graduate transfer Matt Fink from USC.
Fink has two years of eligibility remaining and will likely immediately compete for the starting position with redshirt freshmen Matt Robinson and Coran Taylor and incoming freshman Isaiah Williams from Trinity Catholic in St. Louis.
The news was first reported by Eric Sondheimer of the Los Angeles Times on Monday. Brady McCollough of the Los Angeles Times spoke with Fink's father and confirmed the initial report.
In two years at USC, Fink, who is 6-foot-3, 200 pounds, played in seven games and was 13-of-18 on pass attempts for 89 yards and a touchdown. He also rushed for 106 career yards and a touchdown. He was a three-star recruit out of Glendora High School in California and has two years of eligibility remaining.
He backed up JT Daniels last season and played in four games before suffering broken ribs against Utah, which ended his season. In 2017, Fink backed up Sam Darnold and appeared in three games. He enrolled early at USC in 2016 after early graduation from high school and took a redshirt that season.
It's the second time in as many years that the Illini have dipped into the graduate transfer market for their starting quarterback after bringing in A.J. Bush Jr. for one season last year. Fink becomes the third USC graduate transfer to join the Illini this season along with defensive lineman Oluwole Betiku Jr. and wide receiver Trevon Sidney.