Rocket Arm. Fleet Feet. The Duke. Wünderkid.
Tyler Arndt. Jordan Moore. Duke DeLancellotti. Tyler Jones.
Who will start when Texas State opens the 2013 season at Southern Mississippi? If the first five days of fall camp proved anything, it’s going to be a tight battle all the way to game day (Aug. 31).
But what if the season started tomorrow? Who gets the nod?
Based on what he did in spring camp and thus far in the fall, Arndt is the man. Arndt, a senior, separated himself from the pack just enough during spring practice to be the clear-cut, first-string option on the post-spring depth chart and through five practices, has yet to make a critical mistake when throwing the ball.
“Tyler has played pretty well so far,” Texas State head coach Dennis Franchione said after Thursday’s practice. “Down in, down out, he’s pretty consistent. He’s ran it a little bit more aggressively and that’s good to see. We’ve thrown a lot of offense at the quarterback and he’s managed it pretty well.”
Moore, a redshirt freshman, is gaining ground on Arndt. During Friday’s practice, the first one in full pads, Moore threw a beautiful ball to sophomore wide receiver Brandon Smith that resulted in a touchdown. Moore, however, can’t shake the interception bug and threw a pick in each of the last three practices (two on Thursday).
“Jordan is making a lot of good, solid plays, too,” Franchione said. “Jordan has matured a lot since the first day of spring practice last year.”
After Moore it gets a bit hazy.
Don’t count out senior Duke DeLancellotti and it’s impossible to deny Jones’ talent. Franchione complimented DeLancellotti after Thursday’s practice for having ‘…much better days this fall camp than he had in the spring,” and lauded Jones for bouncing back from Wednesday’s subpar effort and throwing the ball “…with authority.”
When it comes down to it, Franchione just wants to find the right fit. That’s why Franchione designed the first few practices to be a whole-part-whole learning experience for the quarterbacks.
“You know, 75-80 percent of what we do, they can all do,” Franchione said. “We want to see what they can do with everything and then we’ll say, ‘We don’t like this quarterback doing this. We like this quarterback doing that.’ And that’s OK. It’s a little bit of a change-up for people and that’s just what you need to do, which is try to put your round pegs in the round holes and not force them into square ones.”
Depth Chart (As of August 9)
1. Tyler Arndt — ‘Consistent’ is a good word when describing a quarterback.
2. Jordan Moore — He’ll be neck-and-neck if he cuts those picks.
3. Tyler Jones — Will be a three-horse race when he learns the playbook.
4. Duke DeLancellotti — Playing catch-up after a bad spring.
5. Fred Nixon — May need to think about switching positions.