NCF Nation: Greg Jenkins

With two practices remaining in spring football, Troy's quarterback competition has narrowed to two.

Junior Jamie Hampton and redshirt freshman Corey Robinson took all the reps with the first and second strings during Saturday’s T-Day scrimmage and further distanced themselves from junior college transfer Greg Jenkins, who is the third competitor for the starting quarterback role. Junior Dan Parker, who was in the competition early, could not complete spring ball because of injury.

Hampton went 14-of-27 for 205 yards, three touchdowns and an interception while Robinson went 15-of-23 for 194 yards and two touchdowns.

Jenkins completed 9 of 19 passes for 58 yards.

"Both of them are real competitive," head coach Larry Blakeney told media after the scrimmage. “Corey is a little behind because he hasn't played. He looks to pull it down and run and sometimes that gets you in trouble. They all three have had their moments, but I think we've got to challenge the guys that want to be quarterback here with a leadership role. They have to direct the offense and not be shy to speak up.”

Hampton has the leg up in the leadership role after spending half his freshman season as the Trojans starting quarterback before suffering a season-ending knee injury. He redshirted last season and was expected to be the front-runner for the starting role. However, Robinson has made securing the starting spot difficult on Hampton, something he expected before spring practices began.

“I don’t think anyone should get anything handed to them, they should go earn it and as a competitor that’s all you can really ask for is a fair shot,” Hampton said. “I’m just looking forward to getting the opportunity to play.”

Blakeney said he could see either Hampton or Robinson as his starting quarterback in the fall and that both players have put up consistent numbers to show they can handle the position. Jenkins, Blakeney said, probably needs another year in the Trojans’ system.
Junior quarterback Dantavious Parker will have surgery Tuesday to repair his right (non-throwing) collarbone, the Dothan Eagle reported.

Parker suffered the injury during Saturday’s scrimmage when he was hit on a play. Parker and fellow mobile quarterback Greg Jenkins are “live” in scrimmages because of their ability to run. So, Parker is eligible to be hit by a defender.

Troy coach Larry Blakeney told the paper that Parker could be back in two weeks, but his spring football season is over.

The injury does hurt Parker’s chance of being Troy’s starter in the fall. Parker was competing against Jenkins, Jamie Hampton and Corey Robinson.

"It doesn’t help him," Blakeney said. "But we know what he can do. He’s a great young man and he’ll come back from it."
Here's a breakdown of three issues facing each program heading into the spring:

Arkansas State Red Wolves
Spring practice starts: March 29
Spring game: April 24
What to watch:
  • Three-time All-Sun Belt rusher Reggie Arnold is gone and finding his replacement will be their top priority. Derek Lawson, who was third on the team in rushing with 244 yards and two touchdowns, returns and he’ll be the incumbent through spring. But he’ll face competition from Sir Gregory Thornton and Frankie Jackson in the fall.
  • Ryan Aplin, who started three of the final four games last season, should be the leading quarterback this spring. Redshirt freshman Phillip Butterfield, however, will also challenge him for the spot. Butterfield was in the mix last fall camp before his season ended with a knee injury.
  • Arkansas State is currently without an offensive coordinator after Clay Helton, who came over from Memphis last month, left for USC last week. The Red Wolves still have a month before spring football starts, but trying to fill that void this late is going to make any transition to a new offense tough.
Florida Atlantic Owls
Spring practice starts: March 31
Spring game: April 24
What to watch:
  • The Owls lost seven starters from the offense, including four from the offensive line. The only player returning is center Ryan Wischnefski. Several players will be fighting for those spots, including Troy Niblack, Samuel McRoy, Jared Pizzuti and Max Karrick. The 2009 FAU offensive line was the best in the program’s short history. It helped FAU become the No. 2 passing offense in the Sun Belt.
  • FAU returns senior quarterback Jeff Van Camp, who started the second half of the season after Rusty Smith was injured. But six of the team’s top seven receivers are gone, including both tight ends Jason Harmon and Jamari Grant. Senior Lester Jean is the lone returning receiver. He had 501 yards and four touchdowns last season. The good thing is that FAU quarterbacks like to spread the ball around, so developing a new rapport with some receivers this spring shouldn’t be too difficult.
  • The team is counting on new defensive coordinator Kurt Van Valkenburgh and secondary coach Dick Hopkins to make the defense competitive. The Owls had one of the worst defenses in the country and one of the worst in program history. There will be a lot of competition in the secondary, especially since three walk-ons filled those starting roles.
Florida International Golden Panthers
Spring practice starts: March 3
Spring game: April 1
What to watch:
  • Senior Wayne Younger and junior transfer Wesley Carroll, who came from Mississippi State where he was an all-freshman selection in 2008, will compete for the starting quarterback job after Paul McCall graduated. Younger played in spot time last year and threw four interceptions and no touchdowns.
  • Darriet Perry should be the leader heading into the running back competition, but Perry struggled at times last year, mostly because of injuries. Kendall Berry, who played out of the Wildcat last year, and Syracuse transfer Jeremiah Harden also will compete for the starting role.
  • New offensive coordinator Scott Satterfield will be happy to see star receiver T.Y. Hilton back after he struggled with knee injuries most of last year. Hilton is one of the most dynamic receivers in the conference and having him healthy should give the offense confidence.

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