BYU's Spring Practice Was All About The Quarterback Battle

via www.issaquahpress.com

The big news in BYU spring camp was the quarterback battle to take over for the departed Max Hall. Looking inside the quotes from Bronco Mendenhall it looks as if Jake Heaps will be the starter:

"It's hard to remember sometimes that he's a true freshman. He's a true freshman that's practiced with us five days. For him to be performing the way that he is, I've been very, very impressed. Not to say James and Riley aren't doing a good job. To me, just the thought that he's a true freshman and five practices in the spring and he has the poise and the confidence and execution that he has so far has been impressive."

Bronco is also trying stay diplomatic by saying Heaps, Riley Nelson, James Lark, and even Jason Munns who is returning from a LDS mission this summer:

"All four of these quarterbacks could be capable of being a starter here at BYU," Mendenhall said. "After spring and summer, getting back to fall camp, I am not so sure that James won't be right back in the trio again, because he didn't fall off by much.

"How we are going to train four is going to be very difficult in a short amount of time. I am very comfortable that we have the talent, the leadership and the poise and preparation to have a player be our starter at that spot. I just don't know who it is yet."

First off Munns is not going to be the starter this year, and he will redshirt this year.  Munns will be a freshman and by redshirting and staying around he will have one and if Heaps leaves early to the NFL two years as a starter down the road.  Plus, he is so far behind in the playbook and getting timing with the players there is not enough time to properly evaluate his skills.

Even though Lark has shown well in the spring he will not be in the mix come this fall. He may get at least one full scrimmage of near equal snaps with Heaps and Nelson, and that will be the end of his shot at the starting quarterback spot.

It will ultimately come down to Riley Nelson against Jake Heaps.  Nelson has experience as a starter when he played in his freshman year at Utah State, and is entering his third year in the BYU program.  Nelson is more familiar with the team and the big difference between the two is Nelson's athletic ability to evade the pass rush.

While Heaps was the top quarterback in the 2010 class, but compared to prior quarterback classes Heaps does not stand up.  This may not concern the coaches, but it should be a mild concern to fans.  For the long term goal BYU should go with Heaps especially since this year will be a down year for BYU football.  So, why not get the rookie jumps out of the way along with the rest of this 2010 class that had other studs.  This year BYU should still get at least eight wins with Heaps and maybe nine with Nelson, so give the job to Heaps unless he stinks up the joint.

Watch for Bronco to attempt to give the illusion that all four quarterbacks will have a shot at the starting job.  He is actually trying to keep these players happy so that he does not lose these quarterbacks via transfer.

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