KENT: Quarterback Colin Reardon emerged as Kent State’s probable starter as preseason camp wrapped up Tuesday, but the redshirt freshman might want to heed his coaches’ advice that his top spot on the team’s updated depth chart isn’t a guarantee for the entire season.
Golden Flashes coach Paul Haynes and offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Brian Rock echoed similar sentiments that the team’s starters for each game will be determined on a weekly, if not day-to-day, basis.
In short, they made it clear that no player can afford to rest comfortably on his laurels, starting quarterback included.
“The biggest things I look for in a quarterback are his presence in the huddle, how guys respond to him and how he responds to bad plays, all of those things,” Haynes said. “At that point [Monday], he was ahead in what I call the ‘it’ factor. But he threw an interception today, so he may not be ahead tomorrow.
“But both of them [Reardon and senior David Fisher] are great leaders, both can throw the football, both of them know the offense. So it’s not just a line we’re trying to feed you. It really is something that is day-to-day because until it’s final, until we really feel great about it, we’ll set it every day.”
Reardon, a former Poland Seminary standout, might want to make sure the memo gets to his friends, family and fans. A day after he found his name listed above Fisher’s in the post-camp depth chart, Reardon retweeted a series of well wishes on Twitter, some congratulating him on winning the job “for the season.”
The way Haynes and Rock make it sound, the congratulatory tweets should have come with a two-word caveat: for now.
With the quarterback position at least temporarily settled, the coaching staff will spend the next few days pouring over practice film to determine a starter for a few other positions before preparation for the season-opening game against Liberty begins Friday.
After losing Brian Winters and Josh Kline to the NFL following last season, replacing them on the offensive line has understandably become more of a priority than determining this season’s starter at quarterback.
It didn’t help matters when senior left guard Pat McShane suffered a knee injury during camp that sidelined him the final week and a half. The good news is McShane’s injury doesn’t seem to be too serious, and he’s still listed ahead of freshman Wayne Scott on the most recent depth chart.
Another spot on the offensive line that’s still a bit up in the air is left tackle, where the battle between junior Terrelle Johnson and redshirt freshman Reno Reda has gone down to the wire, although Johnson emerged with the top spot on Monday’s depth chart.
Rock says a strong front is just as crucial to the running game (a strength heading into the season) as it is the passing game.
“We may have the top two running backs returning [senior Dri Archer and junior Trayion Durham], but we are developing the guys up front who are blocking for those guys,” Rock said. “So, we have to mesh our offense with what our offensive line can and does do well.”
As for the defensive-minded Haynes, the area he went into camp most concerned about, depth at linebacker, has been settled with sophomore Matt Dellinger and junior DeVante Strickland emerging as starters.
“Our linebacking position isn’t great, but we do have five guys there now and possibly a sixth,” Haynes said. “We’re in nickel [coverage] most of the time, so we’re only talking two positions. So we feel better about that now.”
Stephanie Storm can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Read the Kent State blog at http://www.ohio.com/flashes. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/SStormABJ and on Facebook www.facebook.com/sports.abj.