The most talked about position since the end of the 2004 football season has been quarterback. With Gino Guidugli now taking his talent to the NFL, the Bearcats are in search for a replacement who will allow the team to compete early this season.
While spring practice didn't set anything in stone, Redshirt freshman Dustin Grutza seems to have the upper hand. With an above average performance this spring the Maysville, Kentucky native looks to keep the quarterback position under the helm of a native of the Blue Grass state for four more years.
But while Grutza may be listed at the top of the depth chart heading into the preseason, he's got plenty of competition behind him waiting for him to make the mistake that will give them a chance. Here is a look at each quarterback and where they stand heading into preseason camp.
DUSTIN GRUTZA #4
All the redshirt freshman did during spring drills was make the Bearcats coaching staff feel he would be the man for the job heading into the 2005 season. A smart player who can pass and throw, Grutza will be asked to fill some big shoes if he's named the starter heading into the Eastern Michigan game.
TODD SPITZER #17
The sophomore was headed in the right direction until an injury sidelined him. But worked hard during the winter and was ready to earn time during spring practice. Spitzer has the physical size NFL scouts look for in a quarterback, he just needs to understand what Coach Enos is wanting and perform.
NICK DAVILA #9
The juco transfer made an impression on Bearcats coaches during the spring. While still raw to the offense Davila showed enough understanding of the game plan to have many talking about him competing for the starting job. While I have him even with Spitzer, a good preseason camp could move him into the second spot of the depth chart.
CRAIG CAREY #7
While Carey will not be needed this season, he's been working hard this summer incase he's called upon. Has the size and physical abilities coaches love. Needs to learn the system but has a head start since his brother just left the program and played the same position. Look for Carey to redshirt this fall and be ready to compete for major playing time heading into the 2006 season.
DOMINICK GOODMAN #16
While the coaching staff will give Goodman a chance to stay at quarterback he will have a tough road to hoe. A great runner and average passer, Goodman may be moved to another position before the season ends. If he stays at the quarterback position he will be redshirted, but with such great running talent it will be hard to keep Goodman off the field at another position.
TONY PIKE #18
Pike is kind of the guy no one talks about in the QB race. With the height needed for the college level, Pike comes from a passing high school and that hurt his recruiting. The Bearcats were on top of the Reading High School product and offered Pike a grey-shirt chance. Started of the spring and was looking good until he was sidelined with an injury keeping him out of the spring game and several practices. Being a true freshman allows the Bearcats to keep Pike off the field for another season as he learns more about the offense and grows into a full player.
DAVID WESS #2
When talking about the best athletes on the Bearcats football squad you must speak about Wess. After signing with Minnesota out of high school, Wess found himself lacking the numbers needed by the NCAA to keep his scholarship at the Big Ten School. In came UC as Wess made the move back to Ohio and the Bearcats. David Wess is the wildcard in the quarterback race. He's not taken a snap during a practice since his senior year of high school, but he's been around watching practice to help him pickup the offense. Don't be surprised as coaches look to get Wess on the field. Many feel he's the best all-around athlete on the team. If he's moved from the quarterback position he will move over to the defensive side of the ball.
The former Anderson High School and Akron quarterback redshirted for the Zips his freshman year. The move to the Bearcats means another year sitting and watching. While he's out for this season he will get the chance to show what he can do during preseason camp. Will face a tough battle next season when he does get into the mix and may never take the field.
Dustin Grutza is the favorite to win the battle at quarterback. But look for strong competition from Spitzer and Davila. The log jam here will have fans asking for changes if Grutza struggles early in the season. Don't be surprised if two quarterbacks receive early playing time during two of the first three games.
Bearcat Insider Depth Chart
1. Dustin Grutza
2. A) Todd Spitzer
2. B) Nick Davila
4. Tony Pike
5. David Wess
6. Craig Carey