Daily Egyptian

Saluki quarterback intends to transfer

By Matt Wells, @mattwells_DE

Junior quarterback Ryan West intends to transfer from SIU and wants to pursue his sport at the Division II level.

“We anticipated it to a degree,” Saluki head coach Dale Lennon said.

He said West is transferring to get more playing time and senior quarterback Mark Iannotti is the team’s No. 1 quarterback at this point.

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West said the decision to transfer took about a week and a half. He communicated the idea of transferring to Lennon.

“I thought I would stick it out through the first scrimmage and see if things would change,” West said. But, the circumstances did not change and they finalized his decision.

He said Lennon understood.

“I have the utmost respect for coach Lennon,” West said.

West said Lennon would make calls and provide him references whenever they are needed.

Lennon said he is not qualified to say where West will transfer. He said having West was a luxury and the transfer was on good terms.

West said with the nature of the quarterback position, only one can play, and it is competitive.

“I go out to practice every day and give 100 percent effort,” he said. “It’s just how circumstances ended up. They ended up not favoring me and it turned out that maybe it was a time for me to leave.”

In 2014, West started two games and played in six, throwing for 7 touchdowns, 6 interceptions and 599 passing yards.

His best game was on Nov. 8 against the Missouri State Bears. West had 16 completions on 25 attempts for 3 touchdowns and threw for 136 yards.

Iannotti played in all 12 games for the Salukis last season.

He had 201 completions on 319 attempts, throwing for 22 touchdowns, 8 interceptions and 2,241 passing yards.

Iannotti’s best game was on Nov. 22 at Illinois State, where he threw for 24 completions on 38 attempts and 3 touchdowns with no interceptions.

West’s transfer gives more practice time to the other backups, redshirt freshmen Sam Straub and Matt DeSomer.

“I think it helps with the development of the quarterbacks,” Lennon said. 

Lennon said West’s transfer allows the team to be more focused. It has yet to pick Iannotti’s backup.

“[We] still have two weeks to go in spring ball,” he said. “Both have had their moments. It’s a strong competition between the two of them right now.”

West wished the team good luck next season.

“SIU has been nothing but great to me,” West said. “I’ve established great relationships here at SIU and I’ll definitely miss those relationships, but with that being said I’ll be able to take those into the working world and into my future.”

Matt Wells can be reached at [email protected] or at 536-3311 ext. 269.

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