Over the course of this summer we've highlighted more actual quarterback battles inside the Big Ten than I can ever remember happening in one offseason. So, as we head for the home stretch in camp it's time to re-visit those battles and see where they all stand.
Have any been settled? Are there any surprise winners? Who still is battling it out? Let's dig in battle, by battle!
According to recent reports it appears that Jake Rudock, a sophomore, has pulled ahead for the job… That is if you believe what Kirk Ferentz is telling you?
Good chat with Ferentz. Sounds like he wants to let QB play out a bit longer. Acknowledged Rudock is leader right now.
— Dave Revsine (@BTNDaveRevsine) August 20, 2013
However, it isn't just a two man battle as most expected it to be. There have been three QB's involved from the get go and since head coach Kirk Ferentz has closed practices all fall camp long the only outside look at what's going on besides what Ferentz wants to tell us came from the BTN crew that saw practice today for their series of looks around the Big Ten.
Expected Winner: Jake Rudock
This one is over as new head coach Darrell Hazell named senior Rob Henry his starter following Sunday's scrimmage. He won the battle with a redshirt freshman (Austin Appleby) and a true freshman (Danny Etling).
Winner: Rob Henry
Good luck figuring out this battle right now. Reports have both Joel Stave and Curt Phillips separating themselves from JUCO transfer Tanner McEvoy in the race for the starting job. However, most pundits that have seen this race seem to think the overall more well-rounded and consistent QB has been sixth year senior Curt Phillips.
The unexpected part of this battle has been how quickly Phillips and Stave separated themselves in the battle and if Phillips wins it we'll be looking at another massive QB battle with some very talented individuals again next offseason between Stave (who will be a junior), McEvoy (also will be a junior), and Bart Houston (a sophomore).
Expected Winner: Curt Phillips
Penn State Nittany Lions:
This could be the most intriguing battle of them all, if for no other reason than both QB's are on even footing as they are both new to the system. Of course, we're talking about JUCO transfer Tyler Ferguson vs. superstar recruit Christian Hackenberg. There hasn't been a lot of news coming out of this position battle because the media isn't seeing a ton of practice this year.
Bill O'Brien announced this morning on Mike and Mike in the Morning on ESPN Radio that he will name a starter by the end of this week. O'Brien believes in naming the QB so he can get them the most first team snaps in prep for their game against Syracuse at MetLife Stadium. So, who will that winner be? Good question and getting a true answer from anything in the media is a stretch at this point. Here's our guess though….
Expected Winner: Christian Hackenberg
Michigan State Spartans:
So, this was supposed to be a two-man race, but if you were paying attention to you Twitter feed over the weekend you likely know that's not the case at all as head coach Mark Dantonio acknowledged it's a true FOUR man race. That's right, not only are Andrew Maxwell and Connor Cook battling it out, but two freshman have joined the race in Tyler O'Connor (redshirt frosh) and Damion Terry (true frosh).
Clearly nothing has been settled at all and it can't bode well for Andrew Maxwell that after two full weeks of practice he hasn't pulled away from anyone and that more people are joining the race. This bit of news doesn't totally mean Maxwell isn't going to win the job – but you have to think the increased competition and the frank nature of which Dantonio addressed the QB question this past weekend is all about lighting a fire under him.
Expected Winner: Connor Cook
We all knew this was going to be perhaps the messiest and most interesting QB battle coming into camp and it appears that Tre Roberson, Nate Sudfield, and Cam Coffman haven't disappointed. In fact, all three addressed the media at the same time a few days ago. So, why not hear what's going on for yourself, right?
Good luck picking a winner honestly, but from what we've been able to glean so far here is our pick…
Expected Winner: Tre Roberson (backup pick is Cam Coffman)