QB Picture Coming Into Focus

Heading into Sunday evening's scrimmage Brian White has a clear edge in the competition for the starting quarterback spot. Also becoming more clear is the second and third-string picture. Inside, a Q&A with White and some notes from Saturday afternoon's practice.

Junior Brian White is running the first-team offense.

"He's just making more plays, doing things right, completing more balls. He's doing better on tests," said head coach Dan Hawkins after Saturday's second practice.

White's emergence isn't a big shock. But there's a mild surprise in the total quarterback picture. Many had assumed August would bring a two-man race between White, and that fellow junior Bernard Jackson for the starting spot and senior James Cox would be left in their wake after missing spring with an injured hand. But after the first week of camp, Cox is No. 2 and Jackson No. 3.

White spoke with BSN after Saturday's afternoon session.

BSN: How's camp going for you?
Brian White
: It's going pretty good. I'm just trying to continue to learn the offense, trying to lead the team. Trying to come out here and be productive each and every day.

BSN: Do you feel a difference between now and the spring in terms of your grasp of the offense?
White
: Yeah, I feel a lot more confident out here. I have a firmer grasp of the offense. I just feel better with my checks, reads and passes. I think it's translated to our offense, too.

BSN: Can you tell a difference in the offensive line from spring?
White
: Definitely. The offensive line has been pretty much the key to our offensive production this whole fall camp. They're a lot stronger. They worked a ton in the weightroom in the offseason since Coach Pitman got here. They got in their playbooks. They're making all the blocks needed for us to be successful.

BSN: How badly to you want to be the starting quarterback?
White
: It's what I've been working for the whole offseason. It's been in the back of my mind (all the time). I've been preparing myself to be the starter.

BSN: What do you need to do in Sunday's scrimmage?
White
: Just the same things I've been trying to do in the last couple practices. Just move the team down the field, pick up first downs and get the ball in the end zone. I'll try not to make any bigtime mistakes, just go out there and be effective.

Saturday Evening Practice Notes
• Running back Thomas Perez was cleared to play on Friday, and thought he might be able to be involved in Sunday's scrimmage. However, he won't be in full pads until Tuesday per NCAA rules that mandate a player have a certain number of practices under their belt before going full contact in pads.

Jarrell Yates was back in pads after missing a few days with a tweaked shoulder. Erick Faatagi was out of pads with a slight knee issue. "It's nothing major," Hawkins said.

• Several players continue to work one period per practice at a position different than their normal spot. Among the switcheroos are Maurice Cantrell and George Hypolite working at fullback and Terrence Wheatley.

• Sunday's scrimmage is set for 6:15 to 8:15 in Folsom Field and is open to the public.


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