First and foremost, I have to apologize for the lack of articles the past few days. Our writers have gone A.W.O.L., and it's been tough to garner up some replacements. With Kevan at culinary school, Nick on American Idol, and Drew on an Ozark Trail Tour with Melvin Marsh, it's been my duty to fill, and I've dropped the ball. Apologies. Condolences. On to the speculation!
Joe Southwick, Senior, 6'1'', 202lbs
The Heir to the Kellen Throne is Joe Southwick. He proved it last year, beating out true freshman Nick Patti, and continued to show why throughout the season. He struggled initially, and many called for his head. But with a little help from a furry critter on his upper lip, Southwick weathered the storm, and gained the respect of many.
His late-season improvements and play has many happy and excited for what is to come in 2013. With Coach Pete slimming down the playbook, and starting to play more to Southwick's strengths, there is no doubt this offense will pick up where it left off in 2013.
As it goes without saying (which automatically means I'm about to say it), the starting job is his to lose. He won't lose it, unless he breaks a leg or something else horrific (un-jinx). Therefore, let us begin the WAY too early speculation for Southwick's replacement in 2014. Hoops is over. It's Spring Break. Most of us have nothing better to do. So, why not?
Nick Patti, Redshirt Freshman, 5'10'', 200lbs
I know there's quite a few #TeamPatti fans out there, and I salute your perseverance and passion. Patti is a highly touted Quarterback out of Florida. He can run, throw, and he's smart. Not to mention Pete likes him, which means I definitely want him at my birthday party. Also, I'm pretty sure he's dating my neighbor.
Many are guessing that Patti will replace Southwick as the starter in 2014. He'll have a few years under this system, and will likely get some playing time (looking at you, Tennesse-Martin) in blowouts. His height is a bit suspect, especially considering the Broncos tendency to add two inches to all of their Quarterback's official height.
We saw flashes of awesome at the scrimmages last year, and he's another scout team All-Star. Will he be your No.1?
Grant Hedrick, Junior, 6'0", 200lbs
Grant Hedrick, also known as The Wildcat Package, may be a dark horse for the job in 2014. Grant has had some great playing time, backing up Southwick in 2012. He seemed to improve a bit throughout the season during his limited playing time.
Hedrick is primarily a running Quarterback, although he isn't afraid to zip that ball. It wouldn't surprise me to see us continue to use him as a Tanyon Bissell type of player. I think he can come in and is a threat to run, throw, or even catch the ball in the flat (of course that may be one of those tricky plays Pete has tossed out the window and buried under the new football complex).
Is Grant Hedrick your No.1?
Jimmy Laughrea, Sophomore, 6'1", 204lbs
What a goof-ball. I like him. Jimmy Laughrea has flown under the radar in his few years as a Bronco. He is tall, relatively quick, and has a CANNON of an arm. His precision may be a bit youthful, but the kid has loads of potential. To be honest (can't believe I'm admitting this on the internet), Laughrea was my dark horse for the starting job last year as a freshman.
Unfortunately, Laughrea really hasn't seen the field, and I don't know that he will. Rumor has it he recently took some time off for reflection. Skepticism in me says he was evaluating whether he wanted to continue his career as a Bronco. FYI that is complete conjecture and take it with the smallest of salt grains.
Will Jimmy Laughrea be your No.1?
Ryan Finley, True Freshman, 6'3", 185lbs
Ryan Finley is a new recruit out of Arizona at Quarterback. Keep in mind, when 2014 rolls around, Finley will have red-shirted and spent a year under the system (sound familiar?). He is tall. The tallest Quarterback we've had in a while. He is gangly. Not the gangliest (word?), but definitely needs to spend some time in the weight room this season.
Many believe the competition will come down to Finley and Patti for the starting position. I personally wouldn't mind to see a quarterback with a little more height. Also, Finely can run. He's no RG3, but he's also no Kellen Moore (with all due respect, your excellency). Either way, it's shaping up to be an exciting race in 2014.
Will Finley be your No.1?
Who do you think will be the starter in 2014? Yes I know it's too early to have anything more than a guess! It's either this or I report on the WAC gymnastics championship. Yeah, that's what I thought. Sound off in the comments and let us know what you think!