With most college football teams gearing up their practice plans for the beginning of training camps in August, the Air Force Falcons are dealing with some roster attrition in their quarterback depth chart. The Colorado Springs Gazette is confirming from Air Force officials that sophomore cadet and quarterback Ryan Brand has voluntarily resigned from the Academy and is leaving the school. According to the last depth chart distributed by the school, Brand and senior Pate Davis were both listed as potential starting quarterbacks with last year's starter Nate Romine down the chart as he continues to rehabilitate from his devastating knee injury suffered in last year's contest versus San Jose State.
Brand was highly touted coming into the Air Force Academy. He was one of the Elite 11 final participants his senior year of high school and the hope was he would be a future Falcon star. However, during this past spring practice session, Brand struggled and was outplayed by his classmate and fellow quarterback Arion Worthman. Worthman is currently listed as fourth on the depth chart behind Davis, Brand and Romine. Worthman drew praise from the coaches and is considered to be a legitimate threat to compete for the starting quarterback job this fall leading into Air Force's season opener September 3rd at home versus Abilene Christian.
As for Romine, the hope is that he will be fully ready to compete and capture the quarterback spot this fall. Romine was granted an additional year of medical eligibility by the NCAA, so he is technically entering his junior season once again. Romine was named the starter for the 2015 season, and was showing true ability in the option game having ran for 100 yards in the San Jose State game before he was injured. Romine has always been considered a good throwing quarterback for the Falcons, but his ability to run the option game gives the Falcons hope heading into the 2016 season.
If Romine is not ready for the season opener, there is a good chance that sophomore Worthman could beat out senior Davis for the starting job. Worthman was the main story of spring ball, and was the star of the spring game, showing great comfort running the offense and displaying a good arm in the process. He outplayed Brand and Davis, and also gave the Falcons enough confidence that they do not appear likely to move junior receiver Tyler Williams to quarterback like they toyed with in spring training. Williams was playing backup to Garrett Brown last season and is the best option to play opposite star wide receiver Jalen Robinette next year.
The Falcons will have lots of questions at the quarterback position when they head into fall camp in August. But, with Romine's recovery and the emergence of Worthman the Falcons appear to be able to overcome the loss of Brand and should be in decent shape with the quarterback spot for 2016.