Alex Wills spent last summer in hurry-up mode, and it had nothing to do with two-minute drills.
A year ago, Wills was a rising junior transfer to Montini from Wheaton Warrenville South and was trying to learn the Broncos’ playbook on the fly.
Fast-forward 12 months, and he’s the incumbent quarterback for one of the premier programs in the state.
‘‘I think I feel a lot [more] comfortable,’’ Wills said. ‘‘Last year was a little difficult, coming in and learning the offense real quick. I feel this year is a lot easier. The game is slowing down.’’
Wills did prove to be a quick study last fall, passing for 1,726 yards and 13 touchdowns in his first season with Montini, which won
its fourth consecutive Class 5A state title.
He might be even better this season, Broncos coach Chris
‘‘I feel really good about him,’’ Andriano said. ‘‘He’s made some strides. He looks smooth and more confident now. His timing is better. His knowledge of our offense is
Montini lost some important cogs in its offensive machine, with running back Dimitri Taylor and receivers Mark Gorogianis, Joe Borsellino and Mike Dusek all graduating.
But no one’s likely to feel sorry for the Broncos, who have the makings of another potent offense. In the mix as receivers are returning starter Tyler Tumpane, Simmie Cobbs (who sat out last season after transferring from Oak Park-River Forest), Matt Brachmann and Leon Thornton III.
‘‘We’re still getting the chemistry down,’’ Wills said. ‘‘Once we get the timing down and everything, I think we’ll look solid.’’
‘‘We’ve got good skill kids again,’’ Andriano said. ‘‘Now, will we have an offensive line that’s going to give us a chance to do what we think we can do? I don’t know. That’s the big question mark.’’
Montini does have one starter back up front in senior Anthony Ferraro, but the rest of the unit is less tested. And don’t expect to see senior defensive end Dylan Thompson, who has committed to Ohio State, seeing too much action on the other side of the ball.
‘‘We don’t like guys to play both ways,’’ Andriano said. ‘‘Dylan Thompson, he’ll have to be a backup on offense. We won’t start him both ways.’’
Thompson is one of two three-star prospects on the Broncos’
defense, along with senior linebacker Nile Sykes. Another transfer from Oak Park, Sykes has 10 scholarship offers from a range of Big Ten and Mid-American Conference schools, as well as Syracuse and Iowa State.
‘‘He’s brought, definitely, quickness on the defensive side of the ball,’’ Wills said.
‘‘He’s got a good, big frame,’’ Andriano said of Sykes, a 6-1, 219-pounder. ‘‘He runs, he’s aggressive. We’re going to use him at linebacker, but he’s a hybrid kind of kid. He’ll give us some flexibility in using him in the rush and in the linebacker coverage.’’