Sizing up the SEC’s three remaining QB battles

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Not every SEC team is fortunate enough to know their starting quarterback exiting spring, and three teams will have ensuing quarterback battles come August camp. South Carolina isn’t one of the three. The Ole Ball Coach sounds open to rotating Connor Shaw and Dylan Thompson in 2013.

All three programs have new head coaches who got a strong feel for their teams this spring, but it wasn’t enough of a sample size to make an accurate decision on who the actual starter will be.

Here’s a look at three signal-caller races that won’t be decided until fall camp:

Auburn: Kiehl Frazier vs. Jonathan Wallace

Entering fall camp, Kiehl Frazier and Jonathan Wallace will take first-team reps, but newcomers Nick Marshall, Jeremy Johnson and Jason Smith will all get reps and a look at the starting job, too. Neither Frazier nor Wallace set himself apart this spring, and Gus Malzahn won’t start to build out his entire offense until he knows his starter. Everyone wants to know who will run the Gus Bus’ offense.
Advantage: Kiehl Frazier

Kentucky: Max Smith vs. Jalen Whitlow vs. Patrick Towles

Having three quarterbacks to choose from is a great position to be in for Mark Stoops and OC Neal Brown. However, the problem for Kentucky may not even be at quarterback, but rather it could lie within the receivers. The lack of receiving depth may force Stoops and Brown to start the dual-threat Jalen Whitlow over the better passer Max Smith. Why? He could give Kentucky the best chance to win now, especially with the lack of depth at receiver. Patrick Towles could be the most talented of the three, but he looked like a deer in the headlights in minimal time last season.
Advantage: Jalen Whitlow

Tennessee: Nathan Peterman vs. Justin Worley

Nathan Peterman may fit Butch Jones’ system better than Justin Worley, even though Worley has all the game experience. But neither could be the future for Tennessee, because Riley Ferguson and Josh Dobbs will compete in fall camp. The biggest problem for the named starter lies at receiver. Who will catch all those passes? I wouldn’t be surprised to see Jones use both Peterman and Worley in the first two games.
Advantage: Justin Worley

Photo Credit: Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

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