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Illinois QB Charest leaves team

Illinois sophomore quarterback Jacob Charest has left the team and returned home to North Carolina, a team official confirmed Tuesday.

Charest left Illinois about a week ago and will explore his transfer options after being granted his release, a source told The (Champaign) News-Gazette. He reportedly made his decision to leave Illinois before coach Ron Zook announced that redshirt freshman Nathan Scheelhaase would be the team's starting quarterback entering the 2010 season.

Charest appeared in four games for Illinois in 2009, starting one and completing 28 of 56 passes for 382 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions. He competed for the starting job this spring alongside Scheelhaase and true freshman Chandler Whitmer.

Illinois will have only three quarterbacks -- none with game experience -- on the roster for the 2010 season, as incoming freshman Miles Osei arrives this summer. Former backup quarterback Eddie McGee remains on the team but is projected to play wide receiver in 2010.

Adam Rittenberg covers Big Ten football for ESPN.com. He can be reached at espnritt@gmail.com