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Published: Tuesday, 6/18/2013

Walleye working to lock up key players

BLADE STAFF AND NEWS SERVICES

The Toledo Walleye have announced a list of 15 players that the team has reserved the rights to sign this offseason.

The ECHL released the official season-ending rosters for all of the league's teams on Monday.

Each team is entitled to reserve rights to a maximum of eight players from the list by extending a qualifying offer no later than June 30.

Toledo has reserved the rights to eight forwards and seven defensemen.

Those on the list are forwards Aaron Bogosian, Adam Hobson, Joey Martin, Nino Musitelli, Travis Novak, Kyle Rogers, Randy Rowe, and Stephon Thorne.

The defensemen on the list are Cody Lampl, Nathan Martine, Wes O'Neill, Phil Oreskovic, Phil Rauch, Joey Ryan, and Erik Spady.

Teams can sign no more than four veterans who have appeared in 260 regular-season pro games. Rogers, Rowe, and O'Neill are considered veterans.

Players have until Aug. 1 to accept a qualifying offer. Teams that extend an offer to a nonveteran player retain the rights to the player for one season.

College football

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Former Oklahoma State starting quarterback Wes Lunt is transferring to Illinois, returning to his home state after giving the Illini little consideration out of high school.

Lunt is from Rochester, Ill., and started five games last season as a freshman for the Cowboys but was sidelined by an injury. He was the first true freshman to open the season as the starting quarterback at Oklahoma State since at least 1950.

The highly regarded Lunt will have to sit out this fall under NCAA transfer rules, but when he's available in 2014, he could be an instant upgrade for a struggling Illinois program and coach Tim Beckman, who is headed into his second season in Champaign after coaching at Toledo.

Lunt said Monday that coming out of high school he didn't really consider Illinois, in part because of turmoil surrounding then-head coach Ron Zook and his staff. Zook was fired after the 2011 season. This time, he said, he connected with Beckman and offensive coordinator Bill Cubit, and he loved the idea of coming home.

"Playing in your home state — there's something about that that is special," Lunt said at a news conference in Rochester, according to the State Journal-Register in Springfield.

"You can see family and friends at every game. That's really nice. It's great academics — unbelievable academics."

The 6-4, 215-pound Lunt is a pocket passer and was 81 for 131 for 1,108 yards — 184.7 yards a game — and threw for six touchdowns last fall.

Illinois coaches can't comment on him until his paperwork is complete.

■ The Chicago Bears signed former University of Toledo offensive lineman A.J. Lindeman to a contract, making the undrafted rookie part of the team’s 90-man roster.

Lindeman, who began his career with the Rockets as a walk-on, is originally from the Chicago area.



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