UConn’s QB Arms Race

The race to be the Huskies starting QB is wide open

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Sure the UConn men and women are marching for the title this weekend, and there are still a few months before kickoff, but the football talk is starting to heat up in Storrs. Fresh off their BCS berth, the new-look Huskies are hoping to build on that success.

To do that, they need a quarterback and, as the Middletown Press reports, the job to replace senior Zach Frazer is wide open. 

With seven spring practices under their belt, new coach Paul Pasqualoni has plenty of options to choose from. 

There's sophomore Michael Box, red-shirt freshman Scott McCummings, junior Johnny McEntee of YouTube fame and true freshman Michael Nebrich. 

You might think Box, who is the only one with actual game experience, would be the front-runner. However, coach Pasqualoni said everyone is on equal footing and sharing the reps evenly in practice.

“I like what I’ve seen,” UConn coach Paul Pasqualoni told the press. “I think each of them has had productive days. Each has walked off the field the past seven practices and you could say (each of the four) had a good day today.”

So what do prospective QBs have going for them?

Box does have the advantage of knowing what to expect from game-day speed and reading defensive coverages.

McCummings, who is 6-feet, 2-inches, 227 pounds, might be the most physically gifted with both speed and a strong arm. Plus, he's got the smarts, starting off his academic career with a 4.0 GPA.

Nebrich set state records this past year at his Fairfax, Virginia high school for single-season all-purpose yards (4,967) and touchdowns (59 total). But he does have the disadvantage of inexperience. 

“He comes out of a sophisticated passing attack down there at Lake Braddock,” quarterback coach Joe Moorhead said. “From that standpoint, he’s a little farther progressed than the normal freshman in that he’s done some things in the passing game in high school. That said, he’s making a transition to a college-style system now, which is a big step for him.”

And then there's McEntee. 

The walk-on may be the most recognizable of the four; not for his play on the field, but for his trick-shot mastery that made him an Internet sensation earlier this year, with almost 5.5 million page views. 

But knocking a pizza sign off a moving car or helping to knock in a pool shot doesn't make a starting quarterback. 

It's likely no starter will be named by the end of spring practice on April 16, which is all about learning a new offense. Still, there's plenty of competition. 

“The carrot is still dangling in front of them," Moorhead said.  "They’re all fighting for it, and you’d expect that. We just want them to keep improving because I think they’ll keep pushing themselves and each other.”

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