Scouting the backup QBs

April, 20, 2011
4/20/11
3:30
PM ET
With so much attention on the quarterbacks this year, their backups tend to get lost in the shuffle. But, as the coachspeak goes, they’re just one play away. (See: Tevin Washington, Stephen Morris circa 2010). Here’s a look at who’s in good shape at No. 2, and who has reasons for concern:

GOOD SHAPE

Boston College -- It’s Mike Marscovetra's turn. Dave Shinskie was the starter before he was benched in the Notre Dame game last year in favor of Chase Rettig, but he’s since been demoted another spot. Marscovetra has played in 10 games in his career.

Duke -- Brandon Connette is the unquestioned backup, and he’s performed well enough that David Cutcliffe has used Connette’s running abilities to add a different dimension to the offense. Connette played in all 12 games last season and ran for 321 yards and a team-high eight rushing touchdowns.

Miami -- The Canes might not know who their starter is, but whichever one doesn’t win the job will be a more than capable backup. Morris was already thrown into the fire when he had to replace injured starter Jacory Harris last season in the Virginia game.

Wake Forest -- Ted Stachitas had a good spring and threw better than coach Jim Grobe had expected. Stachitas has played before, and his ability to run could help the Deacs in the option offense if they need a spark. Stachitas started three games last season.

NAME, BUT NO EXPERIENCE

Maryland -- The Terps are set on C.J. Brown, who has played well enough this spring to push starter Danny O'Brien, according to coach Randy Edsall. Brown only has one collegiate pass attempt in one game, though.

North Carolina -- Braden Hanson is the undisputed backup to Bryn Renner, but he hasn’t seen the field since 2009, when he played in three games and completed 2 of 6 passes with two interceptions.

Virginia Tech -- Ju-Ju Clayton was outplayed by Logan Thomas for the No. 2 job last spring, but now he’s the unquestioned backup. He hasn’t seen the field since 2009 when he was 1-for-5 passing.

Clemson -- Cole Stoudt, the son of former NFL quarterback Cliff Stoudt, won a battle of January freshman enrollees. At 6-foot-5 and because of his pedigree, Clemson fans wonder if he can be the next Charlie Whitehurst.

QUESTIONS REMAIN

Virginia -- Like Miami, the Hoos have yet to name a starter, but unlike the Canes, all of the quarterbacks lack meaningful experience.

Florida State -- Clint Trickett and Will Secord are still competing for the No. 2 spot. Trickett had better numbers in the spring game, so he may go into the fall with a slight edge, but keep in mind that the offensive lines they played with weren’t full strength.

Georgia Tech -- Entering summer camp, Synjyn Days is expected to be listed as the backup to Tevin Washington. True freshmen Vad Lee and Demontevious Smith would have to be especially impressive to move up, but there could be some good competition between now and the season opener.

NC State -- Technically, NC State might have one of the best backups in the country if former starter Russell Wilson decides to return. Let’s take the Wolfpack’s approach, though, and assume he doesn’t. It’s up to redshirt freshman Tyler Brosius, who has a strong arm but no experience.

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