By Allen Moff | Staff Writer
Competition for the starting job at quarterback and several other key positions is heating up as the Kent State football team approaches the end of preseason camp.
Redshirt freshman Colin Reardon and senior David Fisher continue to alternate at quarterback. Both signal-callers seeking to replace four-year starter Spencer Keith have received reps with both the first- and second-offensive units throughout camp.
First-year Golden Flashes head coach Paul Haynes said at the beginning of camp that he would not name a starting quarterback until the week before the season opener, and he's prepared to wait until the very last minute to make his choice if necessary.
"Maybe Saturday it'll be a little more (clear) based off of what we see," said Haynes, referring to the jersey scrimmage his squad will take part in Saturday morning at Dix Stadium. "If not, then we'll continue to (alternate them) after that, too."
Reardon and Fisher have both made their fair share of sound decisions and silly mistakes throughout camp.
"Both of them are doing some good things and both of them are doing some things we've gotta work on. That's the nature of that position," said Haynes. "The biggest thing that we've had the last couple of days that we've gotta clean up are the turnovers. Those are the things that we cannot have. What was most frustrating (Wednesday) morning is that we talked to them (about avoiding turnovers), then we did third-and-long and we got picked off twice trying to force things.
"Punting ain't that bad. That's what those guys have gotta understand. We're not asking you to be Superman, we're just asking you to be a great quarterback and (avoiding turnovers is) what great quarterbacks do."
Haynes said he will eventually choose a starting quarterback, and he expects both players to respect his decision.
"We can only have one," said Haynes. "But I love their attitude, I love their work ethic, I love the competition. You would never know sitting in the room (that they're battling for the QB spot) because it's not like, 'I'm not talking to you,' or whatever. It's healthy competition."
Saturday's jersey scrimmage will also be critical for players looking for starting spots on the offensive line (3 openings), linebacker (2 spots) and in the secondary (3 positions open).
"We have a saying 'Showtime,' and Saturday is 'Showtime'," said Haynes. "You can't wait 'til Saturday to see who shines and who folds. We're in the production business, so you have to show production. It ain't just getting lined up and being right, you've gotta produce."
Haynes has yet to release an updated depth chart since the start of preseason camp as he continues to evaluate players as a first-year coach, but one will be created following Saturday's jersey scrimmage.
"We don't set the depth (chart), they do, and we're gonna have to set depth 'cause we're gonna have to get ready to play a game," said Haynes. "All we can base (playing time) off of is what you do when the lights turn on, and guess what? The lights will be on Saturday. Don't talk about what you can do, show us. We can only go by what we see on film. That's what we'll base our depth chart on."
The jersey scrimmage, scheduled to begin Saturday at 10:30 a.m., will be a controlled scrimmage, according to Haynes.
"It'll be different situations, so we get on film what we want to see and not just first-and-10 on the 30 and just go," said Haynes. "It'll be a situational-type deal, so we can see if we can execute in certain situations that we've talked about that are important in winning."
Following Saturday's jersey scrimmage, the Flashes will hold their final two-a-day on Monday. They will open the season on Thursday, Aug. 29, against Liberty at Dix Stadium. The game will feature postgame fireworks sponsored by Ametek, along with a variety of other pregame and in-game specials.
Facebook: Allen Moff, Record-Courier