Sean Hakes came to campus from Texas as a heralded quarterback with a playing style similar to Charlie Frye.
Yesterday, he left the team for reasons unknown to J.D. Brookhart or his competitors for the starting job.
"I think it's a shame," the coach said. "I feel bad and wish he could've been part of the team."
Brookhart planned to whittle the competition to two quarterbacks later this week. Before he could, Hakes did it for him.
Carlton Jackson and Chris Jacqueman now will compete for the starting role. Jackson said he had no idea Hakes was leaving or why.
"I wish the best of luck to him and his family," the sophomore said.
Brookhart also mentioned that it was a decision Hakes made "with his dad," which leads one to speculate whether it was a family decision.
The coach dismissed injury as a possible reason. Hakes sat out of practice this week with a tweaked back. He had an MRI scheduled for yesterday, which was canceled.
Regardless, the quarterback battle continues. Brookhart rated his passers' performance as a 5 out of 10. "Part of (the problem) is them. Part of it is not," he said.
Brookhart said his passers need to get rid of the ball sooner. Also, they need to understand a punt often is a better option than forcing a third-down pass that leads to a turnover.
The part that "isn't their fault" refers to the pass blocking, which has been abysmal for the most part. The quarterbacks have, at most, three seconds before being wrapped up in the low-contact drills. Brookhart attributed many sacks to the third-team offensive line attempting to ward off blitzes from the starting defense.
It also should help to get back starting tackle Keith Huebner, who has a banged up knee. Brookhart expects him back on the field by Saturday.
"We got a lot of young guys," Jackson said of the line. "They've been making freshmen mistakes, but they're giving 100 percent."
Not wanting to pick the toothpick out of someone else's eye, Jackson said he still needs to improve on everything. Care to specifiy one or two areas, CJ? "No. Everything."
Jacquemain said he has improved a lot since the spring, particularly in terms of leadership. He vowed to work harder than ever in his life. That was apparent as sweat profusely dripped down his face after practice.
Neither quarterback seemed concerned about the loss of DH and JL (whose names will not be mentioned on this blog until further notice). Both mentioned Stephon Fuqua as a guy who could become an impact player, whose hands have improved.
"All of our receivers are playmakers," Jackson said.