It's no secret how important the quarterback is in June Jones' offense.
It was somewhat of a surprise on Jones' arrival that he suspended previous starter Justin Willis indefinitely, giving the junior to be a spring off to concentrate on academics.
In an exclusive one on one interview last week with PonyStampede.com, Jones confirmed that Willis had completed everything that the new coaching staff had asked of him and that he will rejoin the team for camp this fall.
"Justin will be back with us for fall camp," Jones said. "He has accomplished the things that we asked him to do. He will get the chance to compete for the starting job with Logan Turner, Bo Levi Mitchell and Winston Gamso."
According to Jones the competition for the starting job will be wide open. Turner, a sophomore, came out of spring practice listed as the starter, and did a good job for the Mustangs according to the veteran head coach.
"Logan did a nice job," Jones said. "We threw a lot at him. Physically he can make the throws. He has the physical tools to play D1 football."
While Jones didn't get to see Willis in live action this spring, he has spent a lot of time watching last year's game tapes. When asked what he thought of Willis' talents, Jones didn't mix words.
"I will reserve any comment until I see the young man in live action," Jones said. "We are expecting a wide open competition and a great fall camp from everyone."
Jones also cleared up any confusion why there isn't an offensive coordinator listed on his coaching roster.
"I call the offense," Jones said. "I will call the plays. That's the way we have always done things."
While Jones will call the offense, Dan Morrison, the assistant head coach of the offense is the position coach for the quarterbacks.
"Dan does a great job with the quarterbacks," Jones said. "I will help out some; we double team them every so often."
Morrison served nine years on the Jones' staff at Hawaii.
"The head coach is only as good as his assistants," Jones said. "I have the best group of coaches on this staff that I have had anywhere. A lot of these guys have been in the NFL, and bring a lot of knowledge of the game to SMU. They aren't only great coaches and teachers but great men as well."
Jones is excited about the upcoming season.
"We are all hungry to get this thing turned around," Jones said. "The players have been very receptive to what we are doing. We are here to have fun; the best way to have fun is to win."
Willis started all 12 games last fall as a sophomore, throwing for 2,944 yards and 25 touchdowns on 242-of-414 passing. His 25 TD passes rank second all-time at SMU in a season to his 26-TD effort in 2006. He was named to the honorable mention list for Conference USA by the league coaches.