John Paddock, a one-year starter at quarterback for the Ball State Cardinals, has transferred to the University of Illinois, per multiple reports.
Max Olson of The Athletic was first to report the transaction via Twitter on Monday afternoon, with 247Sports’ Jeremy Werner later confirming the report and revealing Paddock joined the team as a walk-on and has registered for the spring semester.
As of Monday evening, Paddock’s Twitter account bio lists him as an “Illinois QB” and “Ball State Graduate.”
Paddock entered the 2022 season as the replacement for Drew Plitt, who signed as a UDFA with the Cincinnati Bengals after graduating in the prior offseason. The redshirt junior served as the number-two option from 2018-2021 before taking over the reins, and finished the season going 286-of-480 (60 percent completion) for 2,719 yards, 18 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. His air yards were third-best in the MAC, with a Pro Football Focus grade of 62.6 (seventh-best of MAC QBs with at least 200 snaps.)
Paddock, who stands at six-feet, 196 lbs., is a former three-star prospect from Bloomington Hills, Michigan, whose only FBS offer was to Ball State. FCS Southern Illinois also offered him out of high school, with Michigan State listed as an interested school.
The acquisition of Paddock is seen as insurance for an Illini team which faces a talent void at the position in 2022; their top three QBs from the 2021 season have all departed the program, leaving Paddock and fellow transfer portal QB Luke Altmyer (formerly of Ole Miss) to likely compete for the starting role.
Paddock will be a fourth-generation legacy prospect at Illinois, as his uncle, grandfather and great-grandfather were all former Illini football players. He’ll have at least one season of eligibility remaining.