Klein leads the way at quarterback
Bill Snyder's update on his spring football camp on Tuesday was no different this week than it was seven days ago.
Yes, the Wildcats are improving, but in Snyder's words, that forward movement is "consistently inconsistent."
Whether on offense or defense, quarterback or linebacker, the Wildcat coach says, "There are days when you look at one group and they did really well, but when you're looking for continued improvement on the following day, and that same group doesn't improve. It's the inconsistency that prevents me from saying ‘this group' is making constant improvement."
But overall, Snyder does say, "I like the direction we're going collectively." And, "I'm seeing us make fewer mistakes." And, "We're certainly further along today than at the beginning of spring practice."
As a freshman, Klein played wide receiver before moving back to his regular position of quarterback last fall. He played in nine games with two of those being starts. He completed 11-of-18 passes (61 percent) for 165 yards and one touchdown, plus rushed for 430 yards (5.7 yards per carry) and six touchdowns.
Snyder added of Klein, "He's shown his ability to be an effective runner, but he needs more of an opportunity to throw the ball, and I think he has that ability."
Breaking Klein's game down in four areas, Snyder said, "He's done a nice job in terms of leadership with his teammates, he's good at running the football, his mental aspect of the game has grown considerably, but we need to continue to enhance his total skill package, which includes throwing the football."
Having been in the program for a year, Lamur is next on the depth chart. The 6-4, 210-pound senior completed all three of his passes for 28 yards in a couple games last year, plus rushed three times for 20 yards.
Snyder said of the transfer from Joliet Community College, "He brings good speed to the position and has the ability to provide quality leadership. He's an enthusiastic young player, who has the ability to throw the ball. We need to enhance his decision-making capabilities, but he's made great strides in learning the offense."
Third in line is Tuggle, a 6-3, 228-pound junior college transfer from Blinn College. The Alpharetta, Ga., native was ranked a 3-Star juco quarterback after passing for 2,015 yards and 17 touchdowns, plus rushing for 733 yards and a dozen TDs in his sophomore season.
Like with most transfer players, Snyder said, "We'll have to wait and see, but he's worked hard in the off-season camp. He's a sizeable youngster and we like the way he runs. He has that natural athletic ability, but now he's going through the process of learning the offense and we're seeing how well he throws the ball."
Arthur Brown continues to run No. 1 at running back, but is being pressured by John Hubert (5-7, 185, Soph), a product of Waco, Texas, where he broke the Midway High School rushing records of NFL great LaDainian Tomlinson. Hubert rushed for 1,747 yards and 22 touchdowns as a junior, and an astonishing 2,853 yards and 41 scores as a senior.
"He's competing for the No. 1 spot," said Snyder of Hubert, who rushed for 30 yards on 12 carries in 2010. "He has a different style, but it's not just a situation to come in and slow it down, or speed it up. He's competitive for the No. 1 spot."
While posting those glossy stats as a prepster, Hubert was not heavily recruited.
"Perhaps people looked at his size. He's not the biggest guy in the world. Maybe his size/speed ratio was not what others wanted," said Snyder. "But I sensed that he was a young guy with something to prove. I think he had a feeling of being a young guy against the world, which gave him a competitive attitude."
The wide receiver position appears set at the top with Chris Harper (6-1, 225, Jr), Brodrick Smith (6-1, 209, Jr), Tramaine Thompson (5-7, 165, Soph) and Sheldon Smith (5-11, 180, Sr). The same is true at tight end with the return of returning co-starters Travis Tannahill (6-3, 245, Jr) and Andre McDonald (6-8, 276, Soph).