Scanning The Quarterbacks: It's Simple

Things are clearing up in a hurry with this quarterback competition and the race for Spurrier's nod of approval ...

This is easier than it looks.

The first thing you do is take stock of experience.

There is none - not really. Blake Mitchell (6-3, 195) appeared in five games last season. In the process he managed to complete 9 of 22 for 86 yards and one single solitary touchdown.

Your sister could have done that.

And that was it. That is every single bit of experience returning this season unless you take into account that this will be Mitchell's third year in the system.

Whoops. Strike that. This is his first year in this system. Third year in the program and that doesn't count for anything under a new coach - especially one named Spurrier.

The process of elimination begins.

If Spurrier wanted an Antonio Heffner (6-1, 190) type/style quarterback behind center this season, he would have left Syvelle Newton back at the position and he would have solved the lack of experience problem in the process.

He didn't.

Expect Heffner to make one heck-of-a wide out or secondary guy in the not so distant future.

Now Brett Nichols (6-2, 210) is an interesting case study. A walk-on who out performed the two scholarship guys during most of the spring ... it would not be a shocker to see Spurrier shock us by naming Nichols the man. At least early, just to shake things up a bit.

Just for fun.

So that leaves Tommy Beecher and Cade Thompson. Forget what they did in high school. That does not matter any longer - we promise. Beecher is the one from North Carolina and Thompson is the one from Tennessee.

Thompson and Beecher are both roughly the same height, at least by the looks of them. Both roughly the same weight, although Beecher has the slight edge there in terms of physical development. Both roughly the same level of past accomplishments ... but that does not matter any longer - we promise.

What does matter is style. Beecher oozes it. He is smooth and crisp. Beecher delivers a ball with authority ... and a nice tight spiral. He appears to have the better arm of the two, at least for the moment.

Thompson is a confident kid. He's come to camp with little chin whiskers - Spurrier must be letting him get it out of his system. But Thompson still looks straight out of high school. His face belies an overwhelming state of being, well, overwhelmed. He hasn't quite caught up to it all just yet.

So it is not a five horse race by any stretch of the imagination. Maybe in terms of fairness and all that - but not in terms of reality.

It will either be Blake Mitchell, Brett Nichols or Tommy Beecher behind center most of this season.

Mitchell has upped his level of commitment, some at least, over the summer. He has a decent arm and is capable of throwing a nice pass from time to time - you're just never sure who he is going to throw it to.

Nichols is a heady player, but he is a walkon for a reason. Of course stranger things have happened in the annals of college football. Wouldn't it be a kick to win ten games with a Cinderella walk-on this season?

Now pinch yourself and wake up.

Beecher is a wet-behind-the-ears true freshman who was walking the halls of some high school up in North Kackalacki just five months ago.

Our bet is that it will be Mitchell early and Beecher late with a dash of Nichols thrown in here and there for those times that Spurrier gets really frustrated during the course of the season.

The true frustration gauge will be if you see Heffner thrown in the mix after the first three games ... 'cause he is going to get his chance early, just like all the others.

Confused? Don't be. It's really simple if you look closely and practice the process of elimination.

And there is room for two more (really really good ones) in next year's class.

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