Bulldogs QB competition will culminate by Aug. 18

Updated: August 5, 2003, 8:21 PM ET

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi State coach Jackie Sherrill will choose a starting quarterback by Aug. 18.

Sophomore Kyle York entered preseason practice No. 1 on the depth chart after senior Kevin Fant missed most of spring practice for personal reasons.

Fant, who started 10 of 12 games last year, will be given a chance to win the job back this month.

Sherrill said Monday he will name a starter for the Bulldogs' opener against Oregon on Aug. 30 when two-a-day practices end.

"You have two guys who are very, very competitive," Sherrill said. "The great thing about it is the competition level, so after two-a-days the one who has moved the football team in practice and performed better in practice will start against Oregon."

Fant and York are similar in size, stature and arm strength. Fant is a little more mobile, but the offense runs the same no matter which one is behind center.

York made one of his two starts last season in the opener at Oregon while Fant was serving an NCAA suspension. Starting on short notice, York was 18-for-37 for 192 yards with two interceptions in a loss to the Ducks.

For the year, York threw three touchdowns and 10 interceptions while completing 49 percent of his passes.

"I'm a lot more confident now," he said. "A lot of people look at my touchdown to interception ratio and say 'He's no good.' But even though it wasn't always a good experience, it's given me perspective and helped me learn the ins and outs.

Fant reported to camp in great shape and tried to make up for the time he missed by pouring over tapes of spring practice, new offensive coordinator Morris Watts said.

Fant threw for 1,918 yards, 10 touchdowns and 11 interceptions last season as the Bulldogs went 3-9 and lead the Southeastern Conference in turnovers.

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index