KENT: Kent State’s self-imposed Sunday deadline for naming a starting quarterback came and went and Golden Flashes coach Darrell Hazell still hasn’t decided.
“We’re still looking for a little bit more of who’s going to respond to the adverse situation we put them in [Monday during the first morning practice],” Hazell said. “We didn’t tell them [a decision hadn’t been made], so we wanted to see how they responded to that.”
The result was less than impressive. Asked who performed well, Hazell said, “No one.”
“Whether or not they were waiting on a decision, I don’t know. They just weren’t as sharp today with checks, calling the different correct direction, handing the ball off and the throws, none of them.”
In the mix to win the job are three players with different skills.
Senior incumbent Spencer Keith is a three-year starter who has cut down on his interceptions. He did not turn the ball over in the final five games of last season (when the Flashes went 4-1) and through camp.
After quarterback was targeted as a main position of need following last season, junior college quarterback David Fisher was brought in and enrolled in school in January. Throughout spring and summer camp, Fisher has flashed big-play capability, with the ability to scramble out of trouble and make things happen with his feet.
In addition, Hazell and his staff wooed strong-armed freshman Colin Reardon from Poland Seminary High School. Reardon backed out of his oral commitment to Mid-American Conference rival Miami to come to KSU and compete immediately for the job.
“Having to choose from three guys who can all win for us is a great problem to have,” said Hazell, who said a decision will be made after tonight’s practice and announced Wednesday afternoon.
Focus on special teams
The special teams practiced punting and punt coverage during Monday’s second practice.
Hazell and special teams coordinator Dave McMichael have yet to name a starting punter following the graduation of Matt Reinhart, a two-time first-team All-MAC performer.
Throughout camp, freshman Anthony Melchiori (Aurora) appeared to have the advantage over sophomore Andrew Horning (Stow). Melchiori has spent a majority of camp working on speeding up his kicks to adjust to the faster college game.
“We’re getting close on that, as well,” Hazell said. “Those two are still battling, but I want to see who’s the most consistent guy. Melchiori’s probably been a little bit more consistent, but probably still a little slower. He has improved, but still has to improve a little more.”
Senior receiver Tyshon Goode (left hamstring) and junior running back Dri Archer (right ankle) spent a portion of the second practice Monday jogging down the sideline.
“I want Dri to start practicing a little bit more, so he’ll start doing some perimeter [today],” Hazell said. “If we were to play Saturday, he could play but we want to be smart. However, I still want him to get in and get some timing.”
Goode, who was injured the first day of camp, is a little further away from practicing.
“Tyshon gets a little better every day,” Hazell said. “He feels really good right now, but this is where [hamstring injuries] are most susceptible, when they start feeling good. But he’s catching and running and we’ll see how he comes in the next eight days. You have to be careful with those hammies. If he gets another one, he’ll be out for a third of the season and we can’t afford to lose him that long.”
Stephanie Storm can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Read the Kent State blog at www.ohio.com/flashes. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/SStormABJ and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/sports.abj.