Moving closer to home and being around his family support system is the primary reason behind MJ Rivers’ decision to leave Illinois.
Saturday night, Rivers tweeted out a message saying the he was entering the transfer portal and planned to leave the Illinois football program. At the time he didn’t cite a specific reason behind that decision.
The dual-threat quarterback did talk about his decision in an interview with WCIA one day after his announcement, though.
“Me and my family have been talking, just kinda deciding what’s best for me and my mental and physical health,” Rivers said. “We had decided that it was the best option for me to move closer to home, be by them, my family, my support system for the next few years.”
A native of Frisco, Texas, Rivers committed to play his college football quite a drive away from his hometown. If he plans to play closer to home, he should have plenty of options to continue his academic and athletic career.
Rivers split time with AJ Bush last season under center, playing in eight games for the Illini as a true freshman. He earned three starts during his freshman year, as well.
Rivers threw for 547 yards and three touchdowns while completing passes at a 55.4 percent clip. He also accounted for 65 rushing yards on 49 carries.
As a recruit, Rivers was a member of Illinois’ 2018 class and was listed as a three-star dual-threat quarterback. He was one of three true freshmen in Illini history to star at quarterback.
Former #Illini QB MJ Rivers (@King_2_Be) was kind enough to stop by the @WCIA3 studio today to talk about his decision to transfer. Here's his response to my simple question of why? Hear more from him tonight on @WCIA3sports. pic.twitter.com/MPmDa0XTV5
— Craig Choate WCIA (@craigwchoate) May 5, 2019