FAU Football Spring Preview: Quarterbacks
Returning: Stephen Curtis (14-31, 127 yards), Melvin German
Newcomers: Jaquez Johnson
On the Way: Greg Hankerson, DJ Juste
- Stats are career numbers.
Overview: For the third straight year Florida Atlantic will enter spring practice without a clear cut starter at quarterback. Graham Wilbert graduated after a solid senior campaign, leaving the Owls with plenty of questions about who will be taking snaps next fall. The coaches will look to either Stephen Curtis (pictured above), Melvin German or Jaquez Johnson to take control of the offense. Curtis, a redshirt junior, is the only player in the group to have seen game action while at FAU and started last year's season opener before being replaced by Wilbert. German and Johnson both joined the program after productive careers in junior college, but neither have thrown a pass while at FAU. German was suppose to compete for the starting job last fall, but academic issues kept him sidelined. His eligibility status remains murky, but it is believed he could be contending for the starting position. Johnson is a junior college signee that is expected to provide instant depth and needed talent. He has the ability to pass and run the ball, which is vital to the Owl's spread offense.
Player on the Spot: - Stephen Curtis - Curtis has played in 10 career games, and is the most experienced quarterback on the roster. His dual-threat capabilities allowed him to secure the starting job out of fall camp last season, but he kept that title for just one half of football. This will mark the second spring camp in the spread system for him, which should give him an edge over the other two quarterbacks. If he wants to be the starter, his time is now.
Name to Remember: - Jaquez 'Quez' Johnson - Rumors have circulated that Johnson has already been penciled in as the starting quarterback, but thats simply speculation at this point. Offensive coordinator Brian Wright hand picked Johnson in the Owl’s latest signing class, and a lot will be asked of the sophomore. Johnson provides nice size (6'1" 225 pounds), and a new face to the program.
Key Stat: - 1 - Thats the number of career FBS starts between the trio of quarterbacks on the roster. Game experience is a premium in college football and that means the Owls will need someone to step up and take leadership of the offense.
Forecast: While it would be nice for FAU to conclude spring practice with a named starting quarterback, it's most likely not going to happen. Expect the three quarterbacks to take an equal share of snaps, with neither of them being able to secure the starting gig. It will be interesting to see the confidence level that Curtis has in the simulated game situations, while also monitoring the rate at which Johnson picks up the offense. German may be the most talented player of the bunch, but until his grades are in order he remains a question mark. The battle for the starting quarterback position should carry well into fall camp.
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