Overall: I don't know if it's the time and place to discuss if it's going to be Sheffield or Potts, I think all of this plays out over the course of the spring and even into the fall. There's absolutely nothing to base our decision on what type of quarterback OC Brown will want to start. Despite who starts, I think it's a saving grace for Tuberville that he has two veteran options at the quarterback position. And I'd also like to add that I'm starting to get the feeling that the decision at quarterback and the entire offense is going to be left to Brown. Tuberville is obviously going to have his say on the defense and special teams, but I think that the offense is going to be left to Brown to manage.
At this point, what I'm hoping for during the spring, and this goes without writing, but I'll write it anyway, is that each and every position is pushed to their limits and the best player wins. Right now, I'm pretty comfortable stating that the starter role will probably lie with Sheffield or Potts, and I'm more than happy to see the backup role shake itself out. And the thought that Texas Tech needs a three or four year starter is a nice thought, but I'm always of the opinion, that a coach should play the best player, which takes into account physical ability, experience, etc. A coach has too much on the line, whether it's Tuberville or Leach, not to play who he thinks is the best player. Players get hurt and things change, so you always put your best foot forward and to give deference to the thought that it would be best to start a quarterback for three or four years sounds good in theory, but ultimately, the best decision is always to play the best player. I think there's a couple of reasons why Leach recruited a quarterback each and every recruiting class, mainly that I honestly believe that Leach always thought that repetition trumped talent most of the time and as a result, he always wanted a player that worked his way through his system and was ready and available to start. I have no doubt that Leach would have been content to start a senior for as long as he coached at Texas Tech.
Who Is Gone: No one. I guess you could consider Stefan Loucks, who transferred to North Alabama last year, to be one of the quarterbacks who left, but for now, this position is fairly intact.
|Taylor Potts||6-5/218||SR||First Backup|
|Seth Doege||6-2/205||SO||Compete for Second Backup|
|Jacob Karam||6-1/205||RS FR||Compete for Second Backup|
Who Is Still Around: Steven Sheffield: I know, I said that this may not be a time for debate, but that's why you pay me the big bucks. To make tough decisions. With that being said, from last year alone, I think the job is Sheffield's to lose. Right now, Sheffield gives you the best of two world's, a quarterback with a good head on his shoulders, a mobile quarterback as the offensive line is replacing three starters again, and a quarterback that doesn't make as many mistakes as his competitor. This isn't to say that Sheffield doesn't have his faults. He does, but right now, I think he's the better option.
Taylor Potts: I'm actually pretty interested to see if Brown will be as intrigued with Potts as Leach was. I'm not sure what it was about Potts that Leach loved, but I do think that ultimately, Leach saw a tremendous amount of potential, and if he played up to that potential, he should be one of the best quarterbacks to roll through Lubbock. Despite those physical traits, it's the mental game is where Potts struggles the most, quickly reading defenses and making the right calls. Despite his limitations, I still think he's better than the other three options as far as readiness to play in game situations.
Seth Doege: I tend to be really conservative regarding backups. It was just last spring that Seth Doege was apparently pushing Sheffield for the backup role. Leach even thought so much of Doege that he inserted Doege into the starting role against Kansas, only to replace him at halftime with Potts. And now, it appears that Karam may be the quarterback that everyone thinks can take this team to the next step or should even garner consideration to start this year. I'm not going to be so quick to bypass Doege. Again, Leach has a stellar track record for identifying quarterback talent. There's a reason why Leach gave Doege a scholarship after being injured his entire senior year. I'd also tend to believe that time, repetition and experience play a huge role in how well a player will perform on the field. Right now, Doege has had more of all of those items than Karam and until we hear something definitively, that Karam has officially passed Doege, then I think Doege starts the spring as the second backup.
Jacob Karam: I absolutely love Karam, and I think he has a bright future as a quarterback for this team, but don't get your hopes up to see Karam take meaningful snaps in 2010. As mentioned above, Karam only has one year of collegiate training and I think high expectations are a good thing, but it's going to take time. As far as those that have this thought that Karam can step into the backup role this year, what do we know about Karam other than the traveled with the team and Leach loved his leadership ability? I'm hopeful that Karam can be that dual threat quarterback that can add a different dimension to this team, but I'm also of the opinion that Karam's window of opportunity really starts in 2011 when I think he'll have the opportunity to make his mark.
Scotty Young: I think that Young's commitment was a culmination of the time and effort it took to make the Texas Tech offense so prolific and the expansion of the spread game to the high school level. Despite playing in a spread offense in high school, Young was labeled as the best quarterback coming out of the state of Texas last year. And this isn't one of those situations where Young is going to be saddled with the thought that he's a weak-armed quarterback who can only succeed in the spread offense. Young is also one of the best high school pitchers in the state of Texas and has the opportunity of being drafted in April's MLB draft. Young is probably a better prospect at quarterback than Graham Harrell was and that's saying quite a bit.