Is this finally Tyler Arndt’s year to be the starting quarterback everybody expected him to be since his arrival on campus four years ago? We’re about to find out.
Arndt is one of four quarterbacks vying for the starting nod come Aug. 31 when Texas State travels to Southern Mississippi. In addition to Arndt, senior Duke DeLancellotti, true freshman Tyler Jones and redshirt freshman Jordan Moore will look to replace former quarterback Shaun Rutherford under center.
Many expected Arndt to be a four-year starter when he stepped on campus after a storied prep career at Cuero High. Injuries (torn ACL, pulled hamstring) and a scheme change that went hand-in-hand with the 2011 coaching transition (Dennis Franchione’s zone-read offense from Brad Wright’s balanced spread) slowed Arndt’s progress. Through three seasons with Texas State, Arndt started just eight games (appeared in 20), completed 52 percent of his passes for 2,148 yards and posted an even touchdown-to-interception ratio (13:13).
Once fall camp starts Monday, Jones and Moore will push Arndt for playing time.
Franchione backed Jones even before the Stephenville product arrived to San Marcos, gushing over his talent during a press conference on National Signing Day. Jones recently capped a stellar prep career with a strong performance at the Texas High School Coaches Association All-Star Game in Fort Worth, where he completed 11 of his 13 passes for 106 yards and two touchdowns. Back in December, Jones led the Yellowjackets to a Division II, Class 3A title and earned Offensive MVP honors after he combined for 547 total yards and nine touchdowns.
Coaches listed Moore second on a post-spring depth chart and some feel Franchione already handed him the reins in the offseason. A spring camp in which he grew considerably under center helped put Moore in position to become the dual-threat quarterback the Bobcats must have to be successful in 2013. Moore showed glimpses of a bright future in the Maroon and Gold Spring Game when he led Maroon to a 28-14 win.
If this is a three-horse race between Arndt, Jones and Moore, then DeLancellotti must be Secretariat on steroids to get back in contention.
Projected Depth Chart
1. Tyler Arndt
2. Jordan Moore
3. Tyler Jones
4. Duke DeLancellotti
Unless Moore blows away the competition in fall camp, Arndt should get the nod against the Golden Eagles. Arndt finally has the complete trust of the coaching staff, is making better decisions with the ball and is turning into the ‘game manager’ Franchione wants under center. If Arndt stumbles, Moore is next in line. Moore gives Texas State the best option as a dual-threat quarterback, but must continue to improve his ball placement and footwork (like he has this summer). Perhaps the best option for Jones is a redshirt, provided the fact he doesn’t set the world on fire. If Jones gets a year to develop, that would allow the Bobcats to have two young quarterbacks to build around starting in 2014.