College Football: An open competition between Tyler Jones and Eddie Printz for starting job at Texas State
By ISHMAEL JOHNSON
Daily Record Sports
More is not always better.
Quality over quantity.
Whatever phrase works for you, that’s head coach Everett Withers’ apparent strategy when it comes to quarterbacks.
Last season Texas State had six quarterbacks on the roster. Presumably, it was former head coach Dennis Franchione’s way of preventing what had happened to the Bobcats in 2013. That season Texas State only had three viable options at the position after Jordan Moore left the team and toward the end of the season. Tyler Jones was banged up, Tyler Arndt wasn’t an option as he proved against Western Kentucky and senior Duke Delancellotti took the final snaps against Troy.
This year the Bobcats have four at the position, but all are more viable options if need be than previous rosters.
In fact, Withers is fond of the No. 4. During his first two years at James Madison, only four quarterbacks were listed on the roster and yes, even during his one-year stint at North Carolina as interim head coach — four quarterbacks.
In fact, Withers knows a few things about the value of backup quarterbacks. Last season at James Madison, quarterback Vad Lee was injured during the fourth quarter against Richmond. Backup Bryan Schor took over from that point and threw for 732 yards, six touchdowns and one interception while rushing for 219 yards and three touchdowns in four games as the starter.
Of course the story leading this group (Tyler Jones, Eddie Printz, Conner White and Devin Williams) is the pending position battle between Jones and the yet-to-be-seen Printz.
Jones’ 2015 season was a step-back by his standard (2,494 yards, 14 touchdowns and 10 interceptions with a 58.4 completion percentage), but it’s hard to put blame on the senior because of offensive line inconsistencies, and frankly, outside of a rough mid-November stretch, his season wasn’t bad. It just wasn’t as good his sophomore campaign had indicated.
How much of a chance does Printz have of challenging the senior? It's hard to say, but he’ll certainly have the chance to compete as his Sun Belt Media Day remarks indicated.
“I think that’s where you start with any team is the quarterback position,” Withers said. “We’re excited about him and he’ll be in competition with Eddie Printz who we brought in from Missouri and hopefully that makes him a better quarterback. If he’s a better quarterback, then we’re on the right track.”
The 53-year-old head coach is a firm believer that competition breeds success and will surely let that be the main determinant this fall.
Now, what about the other two quarterbacks? With L.G. Williams shifting over to receiver for the time being — a move that is more beneficial to the red-shirt freshman’s athletic talent — that leaves true freshman Devin Williams and senior Conner White.
Of course White provides veteran experience after playing in five games in 2015. But Williams is a name to watch.
The staff is keeping him at the quarterback position for the time being, but his athletic versatility may warrant a position shift. Even so, the former Mansfield Timberview quarterback has repeatedly hinted on Twitter that he is a quarterback through and through.
What’s for certain though is that Jones and Printz is the story this year.
The Georgia native didn’t see the field during Missouri’s tumultuous 2015 season in which the team went 5-7 and whose offense ranked 124th in total offense, 71 spots below the Bobcats.
To Withers, you don’t need a lot of quarterbacks, you just need a handful that are good enough to play.