By Marc Weems
As the 2016 football season fast approaches, Youngstown State University has one major question that still looms over the program. Who will be the starting quarterback on Sept. 1 against Duquesne?
Four quarterbacks have been in an ongoing competition dating back to the spring. Those four guys are Ricky Davis, Hunter Wells and Nathan Mays returning from last season, and junior college transfer Trent Hosick, who joined the program in January.
“Competition brings out the best in people. Sometimes it can expose who is ready or who is not ready. Competition brought out the best in me. Hunter [Wells] and Trent [Hosick] brought out the best in me and has made all three of us better,” Davis said.
Hunter Wells, who was the starter last season, was part of a competition during his freshman season.
“We all get the same amount of help to succeed. You have to act like you are playing anybody and play just as hard to start the season as you would at any other time. You have to treat every game like it is a playoff game,” Wells said.
Offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Shane Montgomery talked about the competition from his perspective as a coach and as a former player.
“I think they’ve all competed pretty well, not only this fall but through the spring as well. It’s something that I went through as a player about 25 years ago, so I know that it’s tough on everybody. You are trying to compete to win the starting job, along with wanting to win. I think competition is great for those guys, because they have all competed so hard,” Montgomery said.
Trent Hosick, a transfer student from Arizona Western College, spoke about the coaching staff and now competing to become the starter.
“This has been one of the easier transitions that I’ve gone through just because I love playing for coach [Bo] Pelini. We think a lot alike. He offered me a scholarship when he was at Nebraska, so I’m glad I finally have the chance to play for him. Also, coach Montgomery shares a similar offense to what I’m used to,” Hosick said.
All four quarterbacks along with Coach Montgomery realize that a competition puts every one of them at another level.
“I think it is actually easier to start the year with a QB competition. We are competing at the highest level going into the season. I believe that whoever they choose, I’m not sure who it will be, will be ready 100 percent when the season starts,” Davis said.
Coach Montgomery begins to answer the question of who will become the starting quarterback when the season starts.
“I don’t know. I told all those guys that they each bring something different to the table. Whether that’s athleticism, throwing the ball, or the ability to run the ball. They each do things well,” Montgomery said. “They each have to realize that whoever is the starter against Duquesne is not alone out there. They have two or three other guys to rely on.
“No starter has been named yet. We haven’t put a timetable on naming the starter, but they will have a pretty indication of who it is among themselves. I’ve been doing this long enough to know that they all need to be ready either way, because this is a physical sport, and you just don’t know. We didn’t have an idea to name a starter by a certain date. When the season starts, each one of the quarterbacks and the rest of the team will know who the starter truly is.”