Thomas, who started two games last season as a true freshman, competed for the top job during preseason camp. Illinois ultimately went with AJ Bush, a graduate transfer from Virginia Tech, as its starter.
Thomas had 375 passing yards and 233 rushing yards in four games for Illinois in 2017, as he became just the third true freshman quarterback in team history to start multiple games. The Chicago Heights, Illinois, native rated as ESPN's No. 36 dual-threat quarterback in the 2017 recruiting class.
In addition to Bush, Illinois has two true freshmen -- Matt Robinson and M.J. Rivers II -- in the mix at quarterback. Bush took all the snaps last week in Illinois' season-opening win over Kent State.