Loading...
I got the surprise of my life when people were complaining about a DR editorial. You mean the BYH column is not the...

On the move: Tracking the AAC's top QBs

101418ECUfootball-12.jpg
1 of 2

Houston's D'Eriq King, right, is chased down by East Carolina's Kendall Futrell during their game on Oct. 13, 2018. (Molly Mathis/The Daily Reflector)

Loading…

By RONNIE WOODWARD
The Daily Reflector

Thursday, July 18, 2019

NEWPORT, R.I. — In the lead spot to start at quarterback for American Athletic Conference preseason favorite UCF is senior Notre Dame transfer Brandon Winbush.

Veteran QBs at Memphis (Brady White) and South Florida (Blake Barnett) both were at Arizona State earlier in their careers. Barnett, a senior, actually played at Alabama in 2016, Arizona State the next year and then transferred to USF to start for the Bulls.

SMU will be looking for a spark this season from former Texas part-time starter Shane Buechele.

Some AAC schools, like East Carolina with homegrown talented sophomore Holton Ahlers and in Houston, where former receiver-turned-QB D’Eriq King has developed into a unique and speedy star, have signed and stuck with their signal-callers through the traditional process during a time when transfers continue to be prominent.

“I don’t think that is just this league, but I think that is all throughout college football,” said UCF second-year coach Josh Heupel, a former offensive coordinator at Missouri, during AAC media days earlier this week. "Guys are transferring at that position because it’s a unique position where only one guy gets to play. In today’s world, we are in a world of instant gratification, so I think that is why you see a lot of transfers happen at that position."

Winbush, a dual-threat QB, made 16 total starts at Notre Dame. He participated in spring practice in Orlando, Fla., and was a timely addition for the Knights, who are without McKenzie Milton due to a long-term leg injury and also 2018 fill-in Darriel Mack (broken ankle).

Buechele made 19 starts at Texas and has two years remaining to play for the Mustangs.

ECU first-year coach Mike Houston said the Pirates had a chance to add a QB this offseason, but he confidently opted to stay with his group that leads with Ahlers and junior Reid Herring joined by freshmen Bryan Gagg and Alex Flinn.

“We are very happy with the roster we have at that position, and I’ll also say that we are happy where we are in recruiting,” Houston said. “I don’t see us going the (transfer) route anytime soon. I told Holton that I passed up on a very good transfer quarterback from a top institution because I was happy with our roster."

Memphis coach Mike Norvell added that all transfer situations are different.

“I think all of these guys are looking for the right fit and the right opportunity,” he said. “Brady was a unique situation for us because I had recruited him at Arizona State and when he graduated, he was looking to put himself in a good situation. … Whether they were recruited on the front end or transferred in, there definitely is a diverse group of talent and some special players (in the AAC)."

The Phil Steele College Football Preview magazine projected King, who accounted for 50 total touchdowns in 11 games last year, as the American first-team quarterback. Second-team honors went to Cincinnati’s Desmond Ridder and third was Buechele.

Steele ranked the Pirates' quarterbacks unit 10th among the American's 12 teams.

Contact Ronnie Woodward at rwoodward@reflector.com, 252-329-9592 and follow @RonnieW11 on Twitter.

Loading…

Humans of Greenville

@HumansofGville

Local photographer Joe Pellegrino explores Greenville to create a photographic census of its people.

ECU

August 25, 2019

The basics of playing receiver in football begin with catching the ball.

For East Carolina's offense this season to look like the successful and physical offenses at James Madison the last few years, however, the Pirates and head coach Mike Houston and offensive coordinator Donnie Kirkpatrick are…

082119_gdr_ecufootball-2.jpg

August 24, 2019

Here’s our East Carolina beat writer Ronnie Woodward’s shot at ECU football’s starting lineup against N.C. State. First-year Pirate coach Mike Houston should be releasing the team’s Week 1 depth chart Tuesday during his news conference.

Here it is:

OFFENSE

QB -- Holton…

090318ECUfootball-26.jpg

August 24, 2019

First-year East Carolina football coach Mike Houston has mainly established his starters and is in the fine-tuning phase of August as the noon kickoff against N.C. State in Raleigh is exactly one week away.

ECU was established as a 17-point underdog to the Wolfpack and has the task of trying to…

081819_gdr_ecumedia-5.jpg

August 24, 2019

East Carolina begins its first season under coach Mike Houston one week from today and is aiming to finish better than its three straight 3-9 records from 2016-18. The Pirates haven’t had a winning record since going 8-5 in 2014 under Ruffin McNeill.

Where are the wins in this year’s…

102118ECUfootball-20.jpg

August 24, 2019

New East Carolina football players reported to preseason camp on Aug. 1, about eight months after athletics director Jon Gilbert and football coach Mike Houston reported to Greenville as instant leaders of a new era of Pirate athletics.

It is in many ways still a rebuilding project, which Gilbert…

5d51d5a0629eb.image.jpg

August 22, 2019

East Carolina’s first athletic event of the academic year started and stopped and continued again and stopped again, then was canceled because of inclement weather.

ECU’s women’s soccer team was not able to finish Thursday night’s match against George Mason, even with the…

082319_gdr_ecusoccer-1.jpg

August 22, 2019

First-year East Carolina defensive coordinator Bob Trott and first-year Pirate football head coach Mike Houston were similar with their words Wednesday that they think they know what to expect from N.C. State's offense, but they said preparing for an opponent during Week 1 of the season is…

120218Football-6.JPG

August 21, 2019

Many intricacies and focuses for East Carolina football players have changed with Monday's start to the fall semester and the N.C. State game a little more than a week away, but Pirate coach Mike Houston had no plans of intensity dipping with the transition from preseason workouts to in-season and…

082119_gdr_ecufootball-10.jpg

August 20, 2019

No more waiting for Holton Ahlers or the rest of the East Carolina football team or Pirate fans.

With next Saturday’s noon kickoff at N.C. State getting closer and closer, first-year Pirate coach Mike Houston officially announced after Tuesday’s practice that Ahlers will be his…

082119_gdr_ecufootball-8.jpg

August 20, 2019

Quarterback Holton Ahlers led East Carolina’s football team in rushing last season with 592 yards and six touchdowns on 119 carries.

New offensive principles are in place at ECU under a new coaching staff, leading to some intrigue about Ahlers and his run availability. Would this staff, led…

081819_gdr_ecumedia-4.jpg
171 stories in ECU. Viewing 1 through 10.
«First Page   «Previous Page        
Page 1 of 18
        Next Page»   Last Page»