March 28, 2007
ATHENS, Ohio - The Bobcats completed their second spring practice of 2007 on Wednesday. One of the questions that mosts interests Ohio football fans this spring is how the quarterback race will play out.
The latest development in how that question will be answered is Brad Bower's return to the practice field on Wednesday. Bower, who played in 11 games last season, including one start, is recovering from a bone bruise suffered last season. While he didn't participate in every drill, it was an improvement from the Bobcats' first workout when he did not practice at all.
Ohio has three players in the quarterback mix with game experience, but only one who has started a game for the Bobcats.
Brad Bower Senior
Bower is the most experienced of the Bobcat signal callers, having played in 11 games last season, including a start in the regular-season ending win at Miami. In his first season in an Ohio uniform after transferring from Illinois in 2005, Bower completed 56.9 percent of his throws (41-for-72) for 426 yards and a touchdown.
Josh Febus Sophomore
Febus made his collegiate debut in 2006 on special teams. He took his first career snaps at quarterback in the win against Buffalo. At Miami, Febus relieved Bower for one series and capped an Ohio scoring drive with his first career touchdown run. Febus also played in the MAC title game, going 1-for-3 in limited action.
Brandon Jones Sophomore
After playing in six games as a true freshman in 2005, Jones redshirted during the 2006 campaign. As a rookie, he completed 11-of-35 passes for 124 yards and a touchdown, including a 62-yard, one-touchdown effort at Buffalo.
Theo Scott Sophomore
Scott joned the Bobcats in January of 2007 after playing one season at Los Angelese Southwest College. He started nine games in 2006, completeing 52.4 percent of his passes (110-of-210) for 1,179 yards and five touchdowns. Scott redshirted one season at Cal after coming out of Long Beach Poly High School in 2004.
Others in the mix: Redshirt freshman Miles Schlichter helped run the scout team in 2006. Freshman Brian Sweeney will join the group in fall camp. Sweeney completed 119-of-215 passes (55.4 percent) for 1,693 yards as a senior at Blackhawk High School. He threw for 18 touchdowns, and was a first-team All-Parkway Conference selection.
Q&A with Quarterbacks Coach Gerry Gdowski
What is the top priority for the quarterbacks this spring?
"We're trying to get more efficient and throwing the ball. If we can do that, offensively, with our running game and Kalvin, we can be an improved offense. That's probably the number one thing right now."
Is there anything specific you're looking for out of the quarterbacks that will help determine who will be the starter in the fall?
"I don't know if there's anything specific. Obviously, we've got Theo (Scott) who is new so it's all new to him. He's just trying to learn everything. That will be huge for him, just seeing how much of the learning process he can handle. It was good to see Brad (Bower) do a little bit today, and hopefully, he'll be able to continue to at least throw throughout seven-on-seven. That will be important for him in the throwing game. With Brandon (Jones) and Josh (Febus) we're looking for consistency. They both have talent, but they need to consistently go out there and make the right reads and do the right things snap after snap."
With three of the quarterbacks in the system for two years, is there any difference between this spring and the last two in terms of what or how you're teaching?
"Every spring you kind of try and start over. Obviously, the guys know a lot and they've all been in the program for a couple of years, but at least my philosophy is that the beginning of each spring you start over with the offense back from day one. We continue to try and teach. When you're more comfortable with the offense maybe you're looking at some finer points rather than just trying to figure out where everybody is going and what direction we're running."
Is having a wide-open quarterback race this spring a positive at all in terms of keeping the players motivated?
"Everybody is definitely excited and is trying to do their best, but you'd like to have that guy with the experience. We have that to a certain extent. Brad has played in games and played well at times. Josh and Brandon have both been in games a little bit, and Theo has played at a junior college. We've got guys that have at least tasted it a little bit. It'll be interesting to see how it all shakes out."
The Bobcats have 13 more practices this spring, including the annual Green & White game on Saturday, April 21 at 2 p.m. Ohio Athletics and the Ohio Sports Administration program is teaming up to present the second annual Bobcat Blitz which featured a full day of events surrounding the spring game. For more information, log on to www.BobcatBlitz.com.
Information about 2007 Ohio football tickets, including the return of the Bobcat Family Pack, can be found by clicking here.