Three Deep: Battle at Quarterback Begins

After Saturday's spring game there were three quarterbacks on the final statistical sheet. At some point in the summer or right before the first game, one of those names will be the new starter for Texas Tech.

Going into the summer workouts in his first season as the Offensive Coordinator at Texas A&M, there was still a battle at the quarterback position.

We all know how that story ended.

Now in his first season as the head coach of Texas Tech, 33-year-old Kliff Kingsbury has that same dilemma on his hands – a battle at the quarterback position with arguably three horses in the race.

Saturday's Spring Game at Jones AT&T Stadium was another audition for the quarterbacks as three were ran out under center; Michael Brewer, Davis Webb and Clayton Nicholas.

Two of the three are listed as freshmen on the roster.

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"Thought they handled themselves pretty well," Kingsbury said about the quarterback's performances during the spring game. "I know Davis (Webb) would like that one throw back, but shoot he should be in high school still. He's competed well all spring. I thought Mike (Brewer) did a really good job moving the offense and taking care of the football."

Brewer, the only one of the three to have actual college playing experience, finished the game 26-for-43 for 282 yards and two touchdowns.

The sophomore from Lake Travis is arguably the front-runner for the starting job coming out of the spring.

Brewer played at times during the 2012 season, backing up Seth Doege, finishing 34-for-48 for 375 yards and four touchdowns, one of those being the first score for the Red Raiders in the Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas against Minnesota.

Following the spring game Brewer said he was happy how the offensive unit moved but knows there is room for improvement.

"I thought it was good," Brewer said. "I think the best thing that we did as a unit was just move the ball. Obviously we'd like to finish inside the 10 and five-yard line but those are things that you can correct, most of those are mental mistakes. But just the fact that we were moving the ball the whole day is very encouraging."

Along with Brewer taking snaps, Webb and Nicholas also took their fair share of offensive series as well.

Webb, a highly touted recruit out of high school, entered the spring as a four-star recruit according to ESPN and a three-star recruit according to Scout.com.

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The Prosper, Texas native threw for 2,658 yards and 23 touchdowns en route to leading his team to the District 9-4A Championship and a run to the Class 4A Division II Regional Semifinal against Lancaster.

On Saturday, Webb continued to show off the strength of his arm, going 17-for-30 for 224 yards, one touchdown and one interception on an ill advised throw off his back foot into quadruple coverage.

When it comes down to if Webb will see any playing time in the upcoming 2013 season for the Red Raiders, Kingsbury couldn't give a definite answer because there is a third gunslinger in the mix.

"I can't," Kingsbury said about Webb playing. "We'll see how it works out. Clayton (Nicholas) did some good things this year, so he's still in the mix and we'll get through the summer go into fall camp and see how it works out."

Nicholas redshirted last season for Tech and was a member of the scout team after being the only quarterback to be signed as a part of the 2012 recruiting class.

The Abilene, Texas native came from Cooper High School throwing for 2,956 yards and 26 touchdowns in his senior season helping lead the Cougars to the Class 5A Region I Semifinals against Mansfield Timberview.

Nicholas didn't get as many snaps as the other two gunslingers did, but was efficient with the opportunities he did get – going 8-for-10 for 99 yards and one touchdown.

So yet another quarterback with an arm into the mix for Kingsbury to choose from before the season opener on August 30 against SMU in Dallas, which will be televised on ESPN and will be the debut for the new head coach and his, what we expect to be, high-flying offense.

Who will be taking the first offensive snap of the game from under center, no one knows.

But one thing is for sure the name on the back of the jersey of the man that will call the first play of the upcoming season will either be Brewer, Webb or Nicholas.

"Close, it's a good competition and I think that's good for everybody," Kingsbury said about the battle at quarterback.

"We'll go through the summer, go through the fall camp and get a starter named."


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