Published August 21, 2012 - 12:15pm
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The quarterback position is one of the strongest it has been in a while in the SEC for 2012.
Coming into fall camp, only five teams were searching for a starter in Auburn, Florida, Kentucky, Ole Miss and Texas A&M. The picture is becoming a little clearer now that the dust is settling on a physical preseason camp.
Here are the updates:
Kiehl Frazier vs. Clint Moseley vs. Jonathan Wallace
Heading into camp, it looked to be a battle between Kiehl Frazier and Clint Moseley, but inflammation in Moseley’s shoulder has sidelined him for many throwing drills. However, the emergence of freshman quarterback Jonathan Wallace has perhaps delayed the coaching staff from naming a starter, as he has performed very good throughout the fall and looks like a quarterback with a bright future. I fully think Frazier will be named the starter sometime before game one, and there is a theory the coaching staff wants to keep Frazier competing everyday by not naming him the starter just yet. However, I’m not sure if I buy into that, because Frazier is missing a lot of reps in practice by simply being even in the quarterback race. Auburn needs to name a starter sooner than later. I anticipate that will happen sometime this week, and Frazier will get the nod.
Jeff Driskel vs. Jacoby Brissett
Florida is getting closer to naming a starter. Jeff Driskel got hurt last week and sent Twitter into a frenzy, as it turned out to be minor, but Jacoby Brissett hasn’t exactly made a big enough impression during Driskel’s absence to be named a starter, yet. The word inside the Florida program is that Brissett looks like he will be the guy to get the nod. Will Muschamp says he plans to announce the starting quarterback on August 27th, the week of the first game. Brissett might be the favorite entering the season, but this battle will play out all of September on the field.
Max Smith named the starter
Max Smith was battling senior Morgan Newton for the starting job, but Kentucky made the announcement yesterday that Smith will start game one.
“They’ve both done a great job of preparing and competing,” Phillips said. “This is one of the tougher decisions I’ve had to make. We have two quarterbacks we feel like we can win with, (but) Max Smith gives us the best chance to win at this point.”
Smith will start against in-state rival Louisville on September 2nd.
Ole Miss Rebels
Bo Wallace vs. Barry Brunetti
Bo Wallace and Barry Brunetti were dead even entering fall camp, with the coaching staff liking a little bit of what each had to offer. However, since the start of camp, Wallace, the JUCO transfer, has really pulled away from Brunetti. He’s the better passer, and he knows the offense better having been in Hugh Freeze’s system at Arkansas State. Freeze has remained that the two are even, but Wallace has shown up better in both scrimmages. The staff clearly wants Wallace to take possession of the job, as opposed to them just ‘giving’ it to him.
Johnny Manziel named the starter
Kevin Sumlin ended all quarterback controversies and speculation when he named freshman Johnny Manziel as the starter against Louisiana Tech.
“Johnny has performed the best at this stage and we will proceed until the season opener with him getting the first-team reps,” Sumlin said.”My policy is simple really; the best player plays. Competition is a great thing and we need more competition at all of our positions. All of our quarterbacks have competed well, and I expect them to continue to push Johnny.”
Manziel is a dual-threat quarterback unlike Sumlin has historically had. He beat out Jameill Showers and Luke Joeckel. It will be interesting to see him roll out a freshman in his ‘air attack’ offense.