February 10, 2012

Spring Preview: Quarterback

With spring football less than a week away, RedRaiderSports.com will get you ready with a position-by-position breakdown.

Today, we're talking about the quarterbacks.

History Lesson:

Junior quarterback Seth Doege got the nod after a not-so-tightly contested spring football season and fall camp with sophomore Jacob Karam and redshirt freshman Scotty Young.

It became obvious as early as spring quarterback true freshman Michael Brewer would be redshirted so he would at least be with the program a year longer than Young.

Doege's high point came when he won the Big 12's Co-offensive Player of the Week after completing 40-of-44 passes for 401 yards and five touchdowns in Week 3 against New Mexico.

The next week Doege quarterbacked the Red Raiders to a nearly last second, come-from-behind victory against Nevada.

Things got tough two weeks later when running back Eric Stephens went down with a season-ending knee injury. At that point, more of the offensive strain was put on Doege.

Doege handled the added pressure pretty well throwing for more than 4,000 yards and 28 touchdowns and completing 398-of-581 passes with just 10 interceptions.

At the end of a 5-7 season, Karam announced he would transfer to Memphis to seek more playing time after earning an undergraduate degree at Tech. He'll have two years of eligibility remaining with the Tigers.

Later, Young announced he was quitting the football team leaving Doege and Brewer as the only scholarship quarterbacks on the roster for spring ball.

The Present:

Barring injury, Doege will begin spring football as the No. 1 quarterback and offensive coordinator Neal Brown does not expect Brewer to overtake Doege.

Brewer will back up Doege as a freshman and walk-on Brant Costilla will be the No. 3 quarterback.

There's not much to say about Doege entering spring ball. Obviously you want him to improve his numbers and improve a smidge in every aspect like quarterbacks should between a fourth and a fifth year in the program.

This spring is about Brewer and whether or not the Red Raiders have an adequate back up for Doege.

While Doege was clearly the No. 1 quarterback a year ago, the drop off between Doege and Karam wasn't bad and both quarterbacks played the same style of game.

Brewer plays a lot like Doege as well and reportedly has vastly improved his skills after a hard year in the weight room with other redshirts under the control of strength and conditioning coach Joe Walker. But the main question in the spring is what's the drop off between Doege and Brewer barring a Doege injury.

We'll begin to find out in a week.

What we do know is Brewer grew from six-foot-one to six-foot-two and jumped up from a fall weight of 182 to over 200 pounds and Brown is very high on the progress Brewer has made physically and with his game.

Expect Brewer to outshine Doege once or twice during the 15 spring football workouts but not consistently.

Doege will start the 2012 football season and Brewer will be a quality to an above average back up quarterback.

The Future:

Tech signee and current Abilene (Texas) Cooper High School student Clayton Nicholas will join the team in the summer, go through fall camp and likely be redshirted unless Doege gets injured.

Like Brewer did as a redshirt, Nicholas will most likely travel with the team for road games, live the experience of being a gameday quarterback and run the scout team back in Lubbock.

Meanwhile the Tech coaching staff will recruit one or two more quarterbacks this offseason for four scholarship quarterbacks in 2013 after Doege exhausts his eligibility -- the standard for the Red Raiders.

With two seasons under his belt, Brewer will most likely start the 2013 season with Nicholas as his back up.

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