One of the more intriguing quarterback competitions in the Big East this spring is in Tampa, where USF has to find a replacement for long-time starter B.J. Daniels.
Bobby Eveld and Matt Floyd return as the only two players on the roster with game experience. Eveld served as the backup in 2010 and 2011; Floyd served as the primary backup in 2012, though both quarterbacks played after Daniels broke his leg late last season. Eveld beat Floyd out to start the Miami game, but ended up hurting his shoulder, burning his redshirt in one of the more questionable decisions former coach Skip Holtz made last season.
Eveld has been full-go since January so he will be ready when spring practice opens March 20. The Bulls also have Bobby's brother, Tommy, and Trenton Miller on the roster this spring. Both were walk-ons last year. Then in the fall, three-star quarterback Mike White out of Fort Lauderdale joins the mix. White was the 3A Florida Player of the Year as a senior, throwing 22 touchdown passes and just two interceptions.
I had a chance to catch up with new quarterbacks coach/passing game coordinator Nick Sheridan on Thursday to ask him how he sees the competition playing out, and where White will fit once he arrives on campus. Here is what he had to say.
What has your evaluation been of Bobby and Matt?
Nick Sheridan: For Bobby and Matt and the other two quarterbacks here, Tommy Eveld and Trenton Miller, they've been wonderful from an attitude and effort standpoint. They've been off the charts, done everything we’ve asked. They’re good students, good leaders. I've been really pleased with their attitude. I feel good about where we’re at. It will be open competition and we'll try to develop them to become the best players they can be.
Do you hope for some separation this spring so you can name a starter as you go into the offseason or do you think the competition may last into the fall?
NS: I don't hope for any of that stuff. I just hope our players become the best players they can be. Wherever that takes us, if they both develop and they're both playing well, they'll continue to compete. We're certainly not hopeful that one guy does a really good job and the other one kind of struggles. We hope that everybody that's on our roster becomes the best they can possibly be and that's no different for the quarterbacks.
When Mike arrives will he be thrown into the mix with a chance to start?
NS: Yes. We're going to play the best player. If Mike comes in here and he's the best quarterback, he'll play. It's obviously a challenge as a true freshman quarterback to do those things but we're not going to limit him or label him until he comes and shows us what type of player he can be. We're really excited to work with him.
In watching Bobby and Matt, what areas are you going to be working with them so they can get better in the spring?
NS: The one thing about the quarterback position is you've never arrived so there's no areas where you feel like I've got that down pat. You're always constantly improving in all aspects. The biggest thing for both of those guys would be to teach them our system and the different things that we think are important for us to move the ball and score points. That would be where our major focus will be.