DEMAREE: Freshmen QB play the waiting game

All of a sudden UK is talent rich in quarterbacks and All-Star freshmen are seeing red (shirt) in their sleep. Having a quarterback in Morgan Newton that won every high school award in the state of Indiana and a few national awards. Depending on which recruiting-service you look at, Texan Ryan Mossakowski was rated even higher.

All of this is in the past and both of them are experiencing life in the big time college football world. Consequently they are both the targets of a red shirt for 2009. Rich Brooks said a final decision on one or both of them may not come until the bye week, which is the week before the University of Louisville game.

Perhaps the rich get richer in quarterbacks because UK already has a commitment from a quarterback from Ohio. Life in a perfect world would be that one of the existing freshmen would elevate himself to the point that both would not be red shirted. When the 2010 quarterback comes aboard there would not be a logjam. Hal Mumme once said quarterbacks are born to transfer, though he was never close to make that little verbal gem a reality at UK.

Quarterback Will Fidler's emergence starting at the spring game has created a situation where he is firmly entrenched at the No.2 spot and is a strong factor in the scenario for the Wildcats.

When asked about what he thinks will happen with the two rookies, Phillips said – "It's a huge mystery." Brooks was asked if Fidler's improvement has made it tougher on the freshmen? "I don't know if it's made it tougher," Brooks quizzically answered. "They have to do the things they need to do to run the offense and right now they are inconsistent in doing that."

What makes it so much harder for a freshman at quarterback than most other positions? Brooks said – "1) they have to recognize the defense; 2) set the defense; 3) call the protection; 4) change plays; 5) and then go throw the ball in a little quicker time than they're use to throwing it in high school. So there's a lot of things that are more difficult at this level."

One would have to ask itself that if this were two years ago, would one of these rookies would be starting.

As far as the freshman Phillips said that it's been a hard decision with the freshmen quarterbacks. Phillips said that after every scrimmage they have sat down and tried to come up with a decision and it's still a mystery. "The good thing is we are going to have an open date right after the first game," Joker Phillips said of the quandary. " He said hopefully they don't get down the third quarterback in the first game and have to make a decision then, but right now we haven't made a solid decision because they both bring something different things to the table so it's pretty hard to make that decision."

Phillips was asked how do you deal with them mentally? "You explain to them how young there are. Explain to them that it will come, also. Because you can see them getting frustrated at times, too. Mike (Hartline) wasn't as far along as he is now and at their age he wasn't as far along as they are. Neither was Andre Woodson. I always try to bring out some film, some video of guys when they were freshman. ‘Here's what this guys looked like when he were freshman. Here's what he looks like now. Here's what you look like as a freshman – much better than he looked like as a freshman.'"

Morgan Newton was asked how he was doing processing everything? "It's going alright," Newton said. "I'm still trying to learn and figure things out. Hartline's been a great leader in camp and Fidler been a great veteran in camp as well. Moss (Mossakowski) and I are trying to pick up as much as we can and trying to compete." Asked if red shirting would be the worst-case scenario? The youngster said – "I don't necessarily think that would be the worst case scenario. It's definitely not what you want right off the bat. You don't come into a situation wanting to red shirt." He said with a red shirt, you get more snaps, but you also want to play if you can."

So perhaps after fifteen days of practice the wet feet or starting to dry some. But evidently the wetness is mostly in the coach's head trying to unravel the great mystery.

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