For almost any Football team the most talked about position is always going to be quarterback. Over the last few years that has certainly been the case for UC. Not so much because one guy over that stretch has grabbed the reigns and dominated the spot like Gino Guidugli, Greg Cook or Danny McCoin have done is years gone by. If anyone has come close to that over the last 5 seasons it's Tony Pike who was putting up astronomical Heisman invite worthy numbers in 2009 before going down for the USF game and being held out of action until the WVU game. As we all know Zach Collaros stepped up in his absence and set the world alight in Pike's place.
And that has been the center of discussion about the Quarterbacks donning the Red and Black these last few years. It's not that this guy or that guy has been good. It's that everyone who has taken QB snaps these last 5 or 6 years has been good. Not everyone has been great mind you. But when you play as many QB's as UC has done it's human nature to expect a drop off at some point.
For the first time in a long time UC is entering an unknown era. Collaros is still the starter. He is the senior and is very firmly entrenched at the top of the depth chart. But everything below him is a crap shot. The reason that this is a new thing is that even going back to 2006 the Bearcats have always fielded two proven quantities at the position. That year it was Nick Davilla and Dustin Grutza who both had the confidence of Don Treadwell and the offensive staff. That trend of having two guys carried the day all the way up until this year really. The backup spot really is the great unknown this year and that is a slightly unsettling departure from the norm.
Meet The Players
12 - Zach Collaros
A relative anomaly here at UC, an entrenched Senior starter entering his final season coming off a Junior season in which he logged double digit starts. The last guy to enter his final year under those circumstances was Gino Guidugli. Career to date numbers.
|Attempts||Completions||Comp %||Yards||TD's||INT's||Rating||Rush Yards||Rush TD's|
At this point Collaros is a known commodity. He is a very athletic guy who is capable of decimating defenses using his arm, legs or his legs to use his arm. Collaros is deadly accurate on the run as a passer and is much more comfortable outside the pocket than in. If he has an Achilies Heel as a QB most people would say size, he is 6'0" at the most. That's not it in my book. For me the knock is that he tires to do too much. He hangs onto the ball to long, forces bad throws and doesn't quite know when to give up on a play. Those are the things that he needs to reign in this year, and he most likely will.
4 - Munchie Leguax
One of two prime combatants for the backup job ceded by the transfer of Chazz Anderson. Leagux is a tall (6'5") relatively thin (197) and spectacularly deadlocked QB who is a great athlete. To that end he made a start last year at Wide Receiver. At the time of his commitment I told anyone who would listen to me that the player Munchie reminded me most of was Dennis Dixon. And I stand by that, he stands tall in the pocket, displays a big arm and is probably the fastest of the QB's. What he would bring to the table in terms of the offense is the zone read. UC hasn't shown a ton of that under Butch Jones so far. Most of Collaros's runs last season were either scrambles or designed runs, most of the blast variety.
17 - Jordan Luallen
The other main candidate for the backup job. Luallen is a Georgia Tech transfer. As you would expect of anyone attempting to pilot the Paul Johnson Flex Bone Death Star Luallen is a wee bit athletic. If anything he brings even more to the table in a running capacity then Munchie does. But there is a draw back to Luallen, he has never played in an offense like this. Ever. When he led Center Grove to the Indiana Championship in 2009 he did it with an option offense, not the flexbone but with a little bit of veer and a little bit of the double belly. So standing in the pocket working through his progressions is a new experience to say the least. The potential is there but there is a lot of work to do in terms of mental preparation and the adjustment to a more conventional offense. His throwing mechanics were rumored to need work when he got on campus. I am not sure of the extent to which those have been addressed.
11 - Brendon Kay
Kay is nominally a candidate for the backup job. But the odds are long. Not because of any sort of shortcomings picking up the offense or anything. He just can't stay healthy. He has yet to make it through a fall camp without picking up some knock that forces him out of action for multiple sessions. That has curtailed his development greatly and essentially taken him out of consideration for a more prominent role on the team.
15 - Stephen Weatherford
Younger brother of former Florida State QB Drew Weatherford. He enrolled in March, just in time for the start of spring practice. Being on campus for spring football surely aided in his development. But he is going to take a red shirt this year.
I am tempted to say that Coyne already has the biggest arm of any of the QB's. Very tempted. In some respects he is like Tony Pike in that physically he has the tools to make any throw required of him. But you wonder how long it will take for everything to coalesce. For Pike it took 4 years, for Coyne who knows. Also going to Red Shirt. Possibility that he could move positions.
Pre Camp Position Rating: 7
This could very well be an 8. Collaros should have another great year this season. But the uncertainty among the back ups knocks it down a bit. I think that Munchie ends up winning the job because I think that he gives the offense the best chance to keep things ticking over if forced into spot duty. Luallen just needs more time to adjust to the offense before he can be effective.