One would think that Sean Hakes' departure would indicate a two-player race for the quarterback job between Chris Jaquemain and Carlton Jackson.
True freshman Matt Rodgers is still very much in the picture. So much, in fact, that J.D. Brookhart has extended his self-imposed deadline of narrowing the quarterback field to two by yesterday.
"Matt has brought himself into play," Brookhart said, adding that the freshman had not thrown an interception or fumbled all camp until this weekend.
That fact is probably why the Zips are still considering Rodgers. They want a quarterback who may move the ball at a meager rate, but will keep the team in the game by avoiding turnovers and making the smart play.
Two people affiliated with the team before had told me Rodgers is a strong candidate, but I wasn't sure how "strong" until Brookhart's confidence in him swayed me.
As I mentioned last night, two players were left off the updated roster:
Da-Von Moore and
Craig Truax. Moore, a true freshman defensive back, is still with the team. There was a computer glitch with his clearinghouse forms, which Brookhart expects will work itself out by Tuesday. That is good news, as Moore was
a three-star recruit last spring with offers from Akron, Toledo and Pittsburgh.
Truax, meanwhile, has left the team. He sat out spring practice with a leg injury. In the end, the junior defensive lineman decided to call it a career rather than continue to rehab.
Andy Hildreth punted better than
John Stec this weekend, Brookhart said. The job is sort of open, but Hildreth will have to "flat-out" beat Stec out to become starter.
No leader has emerged yet in the place kicking competition. They missed some chip shots this weekend, but the competition should ensure at least that one capable kicker will start, in my opinion.
Saturday's practice pleased the coach. The offense moved the ball well, and energy was high. Today was different, and the team appeared fatigued, Brookhart said. I supposed that's to be expected after the team's first round of two-a-days.
On a positive note, Brookhart said he really likes this team. (You can read into that statement that he didn't care much for last year's team.) There aren't any "whiners," "pouters" and the team isn't quite so cliquey, with many more players from the offense and defense becoming friends this year. Of course, the coach also has spoken at length about leadership being improved, too.