WKU quarterback update

17 08 2010

Western Kentucky quarterbacks Matt Pelesasa, Kawaun Jakes and Brandon Doughty were made available to the media for the first time Tuesday morning.

Taggart maintained again on Tuesday that the race for the starting spot was ‘neck and neck.’

He admitted earlier in the week and later last week that both Jakes and Pelesasa have began to distance themselves a bit from the true freshman Doughty, but at the same time, Taggart wasn’t ready to rule Doughty out of the picture just yet.

Here are a few of his comments:

“Competition at every position has brought the best out of everyone. Guys aren’t taking plays off, and when they do, someone else steps in there. And with quarterback, we’ve got to have that. Every year that I’m the head coach here – we’ve got to have competition at that position, because we need it. We need the best out of those guys all the time.”

“I still think it’s neck and neck. Kawaun had a really good day today, Matt made some good plays but we ended up with more touchdowns when Kawaun was in there. I’m happy with where we’re at with those guys, but they have to keep working on separating themselves. Don’t look for us to give you anything, if you want a job, you go take it. We’ve said that from day one. And now it’s on them to do that.”

Here are some quick comments from the players themselves:

Kawaun Jakes

– On what the focus currently is for all three players

“We’re just trying to come in and get better every day. It’s still a new offense to us, but everybody’s out here flying around and paying attention in meetings, so it’s been good.

“We’re just trying to learn off each other. We go through reads, we go hard every day. If one guy messes up, the other can also learn from that mistake.

“(We’re not focused on trying to win a job right now). We’re focused on being consistent. Making sure receivers are catching balls, make sure the O-line’s blocking – making sure everyone’s just out there being consistent.”

– On how his attitude has changed from the spring – specifically winning the trust back from his teammates following an off-the-court ankle injury

“I had to work hard. I felt like I let my team down doing something that wasn’t football-related. To get my teammates’ trust again, they had to see me working hard. And like coach Taggart always says, other players feed off the quarterback – so when they see me going hard, it makes them go harder, too.”

Matt Pelesasa

– On the overall competition between the three players at this point

“All three of us want the job, but the focus is getting the offense clicking and getting us competing at a high level. Us doing that, whichever one of us wins the job, that person’s going to be playing at a high level and the other two will be right there behind them. We need to focus on the offense and on timing right now and everything else will fall into place.”

“That’s the basis of competition. You can’t wish anything negative on anyone else, because that’s what being a competitor is. You don’t want anyone to do anything bad out there – you play your best, they play their best, and that’s when it’s at its highest.”

Brandon Doughty

– On entering as a freshman with hopes of playing right away

“It’s been a pretty fun adjustment. Coach Taggart and (quarterbacks coach Mike Sanford) have been out here getting on me every day, we keep working out some kinks and adjusting but it’s been good.”

“I’m just trying to get people to get confidence in me as a player. I’m trying to make a difference and get better every day. It’s been very exciting and it’s been awesome to see the team gather around you and accept you.”

“(My relationship with the other two quarterbacks) has been good. They’ve helped me out with a lot. With calls and different things, it’s been really good. We’ve all gotten along really well.”

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