Ron Chenoy-US PRESSWIRE
Jim McElwain has named Conner Smith his starting quarterback against Hawaii, and possibly longer if he proves himself.
The Colorado St. Rams are on their third starting quarterback this season, as Conner Smith will get the nod this Saturday against the Hawaii Warriors. Head coach Jim McElwain made the announcement at his weekly press conference:
"He's our starter right now," McElwain said at his weekly news conference. "Here's your opportunity; let's take it, let's run with it. I'm not looking in any other direction. ... Now, it's Conner's team, and I'm excited to see him play, just like I was excited to see Garrett [Grayson] and M.J. [McPeek]."
McElwain also said that he likes they way the redshirt freshman has performed in practices during the be week. Smith saw time in their 38-14 loss against San Diego State when he came in off the bench for M.J. McPeek, who injured his shoulder in that contest.
Part of the reason that Smith is getting the nod is because McPeek's shoulder is not 100 percent, but McElwain said that McPeek would be available in a reserve role if needed. Additionally, the opening season starter Garrett Grayson is still recovering from a broken collarbone he suffered against Air Force back on Sept. 29.
This will be Smith's first career start and if he performs well it could be his long term. There is no harm in letting Smith get the start this weekend as he is a freshman, even if the starters role lasts for the rest of the season.
There should be no reason that McPeek gets the start due to his senior status, or even playing time, unless Smith gets hurt. As for Grayson, they should let him heal up as best as he can, and bring him back when he is ready. Once he is ready, there should be no guarantees that Grayson earns that job, unless Smith performs terribly.