Position series: Quarterbacks

WKUInsider is running a position series as a preseason football feature to help you get familiar with the entire Western Kentucky roster. Our first installment provides a look at the quarterbacks for the Toppers.

OVERVIEW

Well, this is an easy one to start with.

Western Kentucky has one of the top quarterbacks in the country in senior Brandon Doughty and coach Jeff Brohm said earlier this summer the Toppers' were "very lucky" to have him back in the fold.

The 6-foot-3, 220-pound Doughty was the preseason C-USA Offensive Player of the Year after throwing for 4,830 yards - the most of any quarterback in FBS - and 49 touchdowns last season with 10 interceptions.

Doughty has received all kinds of preseason attention, including being listed among the top 30 QBs nationally on the watch list for the Manning Award. He eclipsed the 300-yard passing mark on 10 occasions on his way to being tabbed the 2014 Conference USA MVP and Sammy Baugh Award winner. He was also named to five other 'watch lists' in the preseason, including the Unitas.

"He's a tremendous quarterback for us," WKU coach Jeff Brohm said. "We have to make sure that Brandon understands that as good as he played, it's not good enough. We've identified some things he needs to work on. He's worked hard on those things.

"If he wants a chance to play at the next level, he's got to be able to deal with that. He's worked hard to get to this point."

Doughty said he's "ready to go," for his senior season and knows those numbers are going to be tough to repeat.

"I'm excited for this season," Doughty said. "We've all been really working hard."

BREAKTHROUGH PLAYER

Brandon Doughty, Senior

It would be pretty hard to put anyone else in this spot.

Doughty will be the guy for the Toppers this season and while those numbers will be hard to repeat, he'll be getting more attention and should be able to garner a more high-profile national reputation.

With the weapons returning for the Toppers, Doughty has a chance for a bunch of postseason awards.

SLEEPER

Nelson Fishback, Junior

It's been a good battle for the backup spot. Brohm said it was "a concern" and noted both Fishback and Drew Eckels have been working hard. The two are close for the position as Doughty's backup.

Fishback is a 6-2, 215-pound junior and could have the edge. He threw for over 1,500 yards and 13 touchdowns at Butte College prior to coming to WKU and has completed 13 of 18 passes for 174 yards at WKU.

He spent last season as a redshirt and has shown a lot of potential.

EXTRA POINTS

***Eckels is a former UAB signee, who left after Garrick McGee exited as that school's coach two years ago. He was at WKU last season but used it as a redshirt. He threw for over 2,500 yards as a high school senior.

***Junior Mike White is sitting out this season after transferring from South Florida. He will likely be the starter next season.

***Former Lexington Catholic standout Reese Ryan is a freshman with the Toppers. He threw for nearly 9,000 yards and 90 touchdowns at LexCath and was one of the state's top recruits last season.

COMING UP

***Check out our video later previewing the quarterback position.

***Our second day of the position series will take a look at the cornerback position.


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