Quarterback Battle Brews in Preseason Camp
In the coming weeks, we will take a chance to preview each position on the field for the Choctaws as we head toward the season opening "Backyard Brawl" on September 3rd against Millsaps. We invite MC fans to take a look and get more acclimated with the 2011 group of Choctaws.
The schedule will be as follows:
Quarterbacks – TODAY
Running Backs – TOMORROW
Wide Receivers / Tight Ends – August 17th
Offensive Line – August 18th
Defensive Line – August 19th
Linebackers – August 20th
Secondary – August 22nd
Special Teams – August 23rd
Offense – August 24th
Defense – August 25th
Overall – August 26th
As the Choctaws head into the 2011 season, they have the comfort of returning a two-year starting quarterback in senior Tommy Reyer (Athens, AL, West Limestone High School). The Athens, AL native was named ASC Freshman of the Year after stepping in for an injured Adam Shaffer in the 2008 season. Reyer finally got his shot last season to open the year as the starter and did not disappoint, passing for 2,224 yards and 17 touchdowns, while completing 59.3% of his passes. The dual-threat signal-caller also finished third on the team with 263 yards and five touchdowns on 263 carries.
Reyer has shown himself as a leader on this team, and will have the opportunity to cement himself in the MC record books with another stellar season. The senior set MC single-game records for passes attempted (64) and completed (39), while tossing for a career-high 475 yards and three touchdowns in a loss to Mary Hardin-Baylor. In the Division III era at MC, Reyer is third in school history in attempts (530), completions (303), yards (3,392), and touchdowns (25).
Coach Norman Joseph on Reyer - "He's had a good preseason. He's taken several snaps for us in his freshman and junior seasons, so he has a really good understanding of our offense."
Behind Reyer will be sophomore quarterback Austin Gray (Hoover, AL, Bessemer Academy), who saw extended time last season in the season finale against McMurry. Gray went 6-14 with 89 yards and a touchdown against the War Hawks. The Hoover, AL native also served as the primary holder for field goals and extra point attempts.
Coach Joseph on Gray – "I thought Austin had a really good spring practice. He made some great strides, and he has brought that momentum into preseason camp. I've been really pleased with his progress from his freshman to his sophomore year, and there will be a real battle for the position as we head towards the Millsaps game."
Sophomore Chris Bunio (Indian Springs, AL, John Carroll High School) and freshman Beaux Gipson (Shreveport, LA, Glenbrook High School) are competing for the third spot on the depth chart. Bunio entered as the favorite with one year under his belt, but the rookie Gipson has shown a lot of promise early on.
Three other freshman quarterbacks have taken snaps in the preseason in Elliot Brashier (Clinton, MS, Clinton High School), Tyler Kirkindoll (Frisco, TX, Frisco Wakeland High School), and Jonathon Redd (Mobile, AL, Mobile Christian). The young guys have been able to take a lot of snaps and have shown that they are willing to learn early on.
Coach Joseph on the rookie quarterbacks – "All of our freshman quarterbacks have shown promise in the preseason, and I definitely see them contributing for us in the future."
Coach Joseph on second week of practice – "This will be a real test for all of these guys as we put on full pads on Monday. The timing will be much different as the defense will be flying around the quarterback and pressuring our guys. It will be a different speed, so we will be able to re-evaluate things after a couple of days."