Spring Preview: QB

Spring Preview: QB

Stefan Adams
Last season’s spring quarterback battle was one of the most interesting in years, if only because there hadn’t really been one in quite some time. After 3 years of Brad Kaaya dominating the QB room, Malik Rosier, Evan Shirreffs, and Jack Allison got the first crack at the newly vacated signal-caller job. Of course, we all know that Rosier eventually ran away with the job, and Shirreffs and Allison have since transferred. Rosier had his ups and downs to say the least, finishing the season hitting on 54% of his passes for 3,120 yards, with 26 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. He also added an element on the ground not seen from the position in years, chipping in 468 rushing yards and five TDs.

This spring may end up being even more intriguing: while Rosier returns, the pure talent level at the position has been ratcheted up a notch, and the way last season ended in a thud with three straight losses, Rosier has a tenuous hold on the position at best. Still, Mark Richt has made it clear that it’s Rosier's job to lose, and someone else will have to raise the level of competition to have a chance to beat him out.

The contenders? Well, these next few months will be a huge opportunity for everyone’s darling, redshirt freshman N'Kosi Perry. Perry came into the program during the summer last season and didn’t get quite comfortable enough by fall drills in August. Perry struggled with accuracy, gaining weight, and mastering the playbook; he ended up running third-string behind Rosier and Shirreffs, taking a redshirt. Even so, Perry’s talent level is off the charts, and his athleticism and arm strength are already close to elite. What’s even more encouraging is that Perry gained 10 pounds and made strides throughout the season, and by bowl practices, was splitting reps with Shirreffs in the #2 role. If Perry can continue to build on that improvement and show Richt he can be a consistent decision-maker, there’s no reason he won’t be starting against LSU in the opener.

At this point, it seems everyone else is competing for the #3 role, but both remaining QB’s on the roster have tantalizing skills of their own. Redshirt freshman Cade Weldon enrolled early last spring as a true freshman, but wasn’t even close to winning the starting job. Like Perry, it seems he has a ways to go, but Weldon already possesses an appropriate college build, unlike Perry, and he has plenty of scrambling ability of his own. Weldon also had some hiccups in his first year in the program, getting himself suspended for the Orange Bowl. This is a big spring for him to show his head is in the right place and that he can contribute to this team.

True freshman Jarren Williams from Georgia has enrolled early for spring ball and will attempt to throw his hat into the ring as well. Even though he’s the least experienced, it’s worth noting that it might actually be Williams that is the most talented gun-slinger on the roster. Williams improved steadily each year at Central Gwinnett and has the arm talent to make any throw on the field. He’ll likely use this spring to pack on some pounds and get acquainted with the playbook, and try and make a push for the starting role by fall camp.

Watch out and pay attention to how the reps are split up during the spring. If Rosier is getting all or the lion’s share of the first team reps, that’s an indication Perry is still not ready (or never will be). If Perry begins to start taking away first team reps from Rosier, this could be a legitimate position battle.

Comments (44)

everyone should be prepared for malik to at least start the LSU game with one of the younger kids getting some reps w/ the first team much like we've seen alabama, USC, ND, UGA etc all do in recent years...
I don't care who starts at QB but I want to see improvement in our offense. We let way too many mediocre teams stick around due to Rosier being inaccurate. If can get whoever starts to around 65% that would be amazing.
How much weight should Williams pack on? Isn't he already in the 215 range?
If Perry doesn't get many first string reps in spring, I wonder how many Williams takes from him in the fall, because if Perry can't grab reps NOW, when will he? Can he?

The way I see it is Shirreffs doesn't transfer unless he believed Perry was passing him as #2. Now that doesn't seem like a big deal to most, but it would mean that Perry had indeed progressed some. I would be shocked if he doesn't get a crack at it.
I don't think Rosier will be able to improve THAT much from last year and I think that if someone can't take his job it will say a lot more about them than the improvement of Malik
I hope perry is ready to compete .. If he's not seriously on Rosier's heels for fall camp then there are some serious red flags for perry
I don’t want to sound like the typical douchebag fan that always says the new guy is the best, but Jarren Williams is the truth.

I’m very intrigued by Weldon as well.

Depth baby.
One thing that jumped off the screen when watching Williams' film is the way he went through progressions, then got the ball out quickly. I know it's just high school, but to be able to DO that in high school says something about the kid.

Some of y'all just cut and paste the same comments in these QB threads, just changing the names of the next "savior QB" from year to year.

Can't wait for one of y'all to forget to replace Olsen, Kaaya, Allison, Weldon, Perry, or Shirreffs with Williams. Then, it will really be obvious.
Good write up with one exception. I don't think Perry has the #2 job all sewn up and I absolutely do not buy that everyone else is battling for the #3 spot. I think Weldon is in this to win it. Other than that, nice article.