WKU quarterback competition

27 03 2010

We won’t label it a ‘controversy’ yet – hey, it’s just spring. 

With first-year Western Kentucky coach Willie Taggart declaring literally every position up in the air right now, the most recognized spot on the field seems to be no different. 

But with that said, however, there does seem to be two players who have slightly found their way ahead of the pack. 

The four quarterbacks competing right now are incumbent starter Kawaun Jakes, JUCO transfer Matt Pelesasa, freshman Courtney Dalcourt and junior Tyler Bruce. 

The first two in that list – Jakes and Pelesasa – seem to be the ones to watch for now. 

Taggart has limited our access to practice this spring, so I’ve only been able to check out the last 30 minutes of each workout and we haven’t been able to speak to any players yet – but during the time that I have seen, Jakes and Pelesasa have taken their turns working with the first and second units. 

And though we haven’t been able to talk with Jakes or Pelesasa on the matter, we have spoken with first-year quarterbacks coach Mike Sanford. 

Here’s what he had to say on Friday:

“Kawaun’s really excited about (the new West Coast Offense). He’s one of those guys who is a football junkie, he loves the game and he loves the NFL. Everybody thinks that Kawaun, because he’s a longer, more athletic looking quarterback wants to be a spread guy. But that’s not the case, he told me when I got here ‘coach, I want to run an NFL-style offense.’ So when he hears the play calls and a lot of them are recognizable if you watch NFL Films – he gets excited. He’s definitely gravitated toward the offense and the terminology and he’s excited about it.

“I’d say it’s still jumbled up right now, but Matt has shown a lot of flash. He’s made some plays when things have been falling out of control a little bit. He’s got a chance. He’s pushing Kawaun and Kawaun’s pushing him. And really Tyler Bruce has done some nice things. 

“It really doesn’t matter how the kid got here, we’re going to let him compete for the job.”

As far as Dalcourt is concerned, the former Franklin-Simpson standout has still been recovering from the torn ACL that cost him all of last season. He was not in full pads during Friday’s workout, WKU’s first opportunity to play in full pads. 

Also, keep in mind that once fall practice rolls around, incoming freshman Brandon Doughty is also expected to get a chance at the quarterback spot and see his fair share of reps.

•••••••••••••••••

In Sunday’s Daily News, look for a story concerning WKU’s early adjustment period from the former spread-option offense into a West Coast look. 

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