Savage, Lewis learning the ropes

True freshmen quarterbacks learning in redshirt year, coach says

Like most incoming athletes, true freshmen quarterbacks Bryan Savage and Sean Lewis had high expectations that they could find the field their first year on campus. Instead, they are in the midst of redshirt seasons, but quarterbacks coach Jeff Horton says they are handling the process well.

Sean Lewis
"They want to play but the reality is they know that they have a lot to learn," Horton said. "You'd rather have them that way than coming in here hoping they redshirt. I'd much rather have them being anxious and wanting to get on the field. Like I always tell them, I don't care who's on the field as long as whoever it is is going to help us win."

Horton said the most difficult part of the equation is finding the young quarterbacks reps during scrimmage sessions. First-team quarterback John Stocco and second-team quarterback Tyler Donovan rightfully receive the majority of the work. Lewis, as the fourth-string quarterback, joins true freshman walk-on Craig Meier on the scout team each day. Savage, the third-team quarterback, receives minimal reps in scrimmage work but is constantly sending in signals to Stocco and Donovan—the same duty he performs on game days.

"It's just hard on those guys," Horton said. "They don't get a lot of reps. Sean runs a lot of scout team things. Bryan's on the other end with me but mostly doing signals and I'm kind of talking to him about every play. He gets very few reps. I know that's hard on him. He has to take advantage of the opportunities he gets in individual period, those kind of things. It's a big learning curve for him. I know he gets frustrated at times but it is what it is and you just got to keep preparing because we've seen other teams get to their third quarterbacks playing against us. So fortunately we haven't had any injuries that way but you always have to be prepared and ready for it."

Regarding Savage and Lewis, Horton emphasized the importance of learning the nuances of the position through film study.

"A lot is just film study; understanding how to watch film," Horton said. "What they need to look for, things they need to analyze, looking at personnel on the other team, understanding down and distance situation. Really understanding the game. A lot of times coming out of high school you've always played but you really don't understand the different situations, all the different things that can come up during the course of a football game. Now it is a crash course in trying to teach them all of those things."

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