Big Ten Network Reporter Elise Menaker Completes Pass During Illinois Spring Game

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Illinois could have a quarterback controversy on its hands after its spring game on Monday night. 

Big Ten Network reporter Elise Menaker entered the intersquad affair in the third quarter as the orange team held a 50-6 lead. Menaker lined up under center in the shotgun, then tossed a two-point conversion to tight end Daniel Barker. 

Menaker's throw in itself was relatively impressive, though the post-conversion celebration is really what stole the show. 

"It felt good, I was in charge out there," Menaker said after her first career pass attempt. "Coach drew up a play for me and I couldn't say no."

Menaker is a former Cornell softball star, earning first-team All-Ivy League honors thrice. She also played professionally in Sweden.

Perhaps Menaker's presence could prove valuable in 2021 considering Illinois's recent history on the gridiron. The program has not won a bowl game since 2011, and it went 17–40 in the last five seasons under former head coach Lovie Smith

Illinois hired former Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema to replace Smith in December 2020. Perhaps Monday's contest will inspire Bielema to give Menaker another shot in September.