QB Spotlight

Since the day Mark Sanchez announced that he would forego his senior season and enter the NFL draft, Mitch Mustain, Aaron Corp, Matt Barkley and Garrett Green have been looking forward to the opening of spring practice, and their chance to compete for the starting spot. Saturday they finally got their chance.

Since the day Mark Sanchez announced that he would forego his senior season and enter the NFL draft, Mitch Mustain, Aaron Corp, Matt Barkley and Garrett Green have been looking forward to the opening of spring practice, and their chance to compete for the starting spot.

Saturday, the competition heated up in front of hundreds of fans that all had their eyes glued to the guys with the yellow jerseys.

"It's completely wide open," Jeremy Bates said. "We're going to look at it everyday, grade each player, rate each play and by the end of spring hopefully we'll know something."

Pete Carroll kicked off the competition by having Matt Barkley take the opening reps with the first team offense during the team drills.

"It was good that Jeremy (Bates) got Matt (Barkley) in there with the first group in the team period, so he had his reps right off the bat," Carroll said.

While many observers were surprised to see Barkley working with the first unit, the young quarterback showed great poise and took it all in stride.

"I knew coach was going to throw me in," Barkley said. "He throws all the freshmen in with the ones.

"I just came out like it was a regular Tuesday or Thursday practice, except with hundreds of people on the sidelines.

Barkley connected with Damian Williams for a nice gain over the middle on his first throw and had a solid overall performance on Saturday.

"I was having a blast out here," he said.

After hearing all the talk about which player is best suited to become the next starting quarterback, Aaron Corp and Mitch Mustain were just excited to get back on the practice field.

"We all had our heads where we needed to be and focused on what we needed to do as individuals," Mustain said.

The junior from Arkansas had a nice start to the day, completing four of his first five passes during 7-on-7 drills.

"I thought I did pretty well," he said. "Of course, there are the usual mistakes that you have on day one, but I felt quick and I thought the changes that we made helped everybody on the team.

"Our receivers were as fast as I have seen them and our offensive line looked really good."

With the quarterback competition fresh in every observers mind, Aaron Corp was able to block it all out and concentrate on improving his game.

"I am totally focused on myself and how I can help the offense improve," he said.

Corp gave himself a B grade for the day's performance but the coaches are going to look long and hard at the film of practice before making any judgments.

"I think all four of them played really well. Before I even want to start talking about a player I have to go watch the film, look at the reads," Bates said. "That was a fast practice.

"One of the fastest practices I've ever been a part of so I really need to slow it down and watch the tape and study each play."


Mitch Mustain and Matt Barkley go through quarterback drills. (Jaime Rodriguez Photo)

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If you have any questions, comments or suggestions you can reach Kevin Carden at kevin@scplaybook.com


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