Former USC quarterback Matt Fink joining Illinois as a grad transfer

Matt Fink takes part in drills at USC practice in August 2018.
(Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)

Former USC quarterback Matt Fink will join Illinois as a graduate transfer, Fink’s father, Mike, told the Los Angeles Times on Monday.

Fink, the Glendora High product and Rancho Cucamonga native, will have two years of eligibility remaining after graduating from USC this spring. Mike Fink said that Illinois coach Lovie Smith told his son that he would be needed by the Fighting Illini in a leadership role and that he would have every chance to win the starting job this fall.

“I think Matt has a very good chance to be the starting quarterback,” Mike Fink said.


Matt Fink spent 2018 at USC as the backup to freshman JT Daniels, who won the starting job last fall. The Trojans brought in a new offensive coordinator in Graham Harrell, who reopened the quarterback competition. After spring practice, Fink did not like his prospects to start at USC and entered the NCAA transfer portal.

Fink will join fellow USC transfers Trevon Sidney, a wide receiver, and Oluwole Betiku, an outside linebacker, at Illinois.

With Fink on his visit to Illinois last weekend, Illinois sophomore quarterback M.J. Rivers announced that he was transferring. Rivers was the only returning Fighting Illini quarterback with starting experience.

Fink will compete with redshirt freshmen Matt Robinson and Coran Taylor and incoming freshman Isaiah Williams in the fall.

“It feels good, and it feels right,” Mike Fink said.