Breaking Down: Quarterback

Looking at the Red Wolves breaking down the positions. After a summer of speculation, a starter has been named.

The Breakdown:
Position Starter Backup
QUARTERBACK Adam Kennedy – 6'5 219 RSr Phillip Butterfield– 6'2 215 RSr -OR-
Fredi Knighten – 5'10 180 So

The Numbers:
Kennedy started 5 games for Utah State in 2011 going 4-1. He completed that season passing for 972 yards and 11 touchdowns in 8 games leading the Aggies to the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. Had a passing efficiency rating of 169.04 for Utah State in 2011 while also rushing for 239 yards on 55 attempts. In junior college, Kennedy passed for 1,767 yards and 15 TDs and had an efficiency rating of 141.9 and completion percentage of .648.

Butterfield's career stats include 13 for 27 passing for 114 yards and 1 TD as well as 27 rushing attempts for 154 yards.

Knighten rushed for 96 yards on 16 attempts for the Red Wolves in 2012 and was 3 of 5 passing for 44 yards and 1 TD.

The Analysis:

Arkansas State returns top notch skilled players at running back, experience and depth at offensive line, size and versatility at tight end, and talent, speed and elusiveness at wide receiver.

The battle for who gets to lead that bunch was won by senior transfer Adam Kennedy. Harsin has mentioned multiple times that he is looking for a quarterback that can be a tough, prepared, accurate, and makes good decisions. Kennedy has proven his accuracy on the field and as camp moved along showed he understood what the expectations were for a quarterback in Harsin's offense.

If Kennedy provides a passing threat to add to the running game the offense has the potential to stay balanced and explosive. Kennedy will need to continue to learn the system and provide those four things needed at quarterback.

Butterfield has been through many systems during his time at Arkansas State and has proven the ability to adapt and learn quickly. Butterfield has battled injuries during his time but has been praised by the staff as someone that is very consistent.

Knighten is a threat. He has the quickness and elusiveness to turn a zone read keeper into a long run. Knighten will see time at quarterback this fall and potentially in the slot as well. As Knighten continues to sharpen his skills in the passing game, he will become even more dangerous to defensive coordinator's sleep habits.

Three other quarterbacks were part of the competition in fall camp – junior college transfer Chandler Rogers (6'2 210 Jr), Stephan Hogan (6'4 210 RSo, and Cameron Birse (6'3 215 Fr). All three players should be working to prepare for an ensuing competition in Spring '14. Rogers improved and finished with a good final fall scrimmage. Hogan will hold this fall on special teams and is still learning the position after moving from receiver. Birse showed an extremely good arm and mechanics but is still gaining experience after starting only one season of high school.

There is a lot of talent in all the positions on the offensive side of the ball, quarterback included.