Fitch: Backup QB may play in every game in '12
As USF looks to prepare a starting quarterback for the 2013 season after current senior B.J. Daniels is gone, offensive coordinator Todd Fitch said last week that he would like to establish a top backup and find a way to get him on the field in every game during the 2012 season.
The Bulls have junior Bobby Eveld and redshirt freshman Matt Floyd competing for the backup job behind Daniels. Eveld has thrown for 708 yards in his two seasons, but had just one touchdown against four interceptions last fall; both passers showed promise during the spring exhibitions.
"In a perfect world, you want to play the second guy this season in every game if you can," Fitch said. "Now, is every game going to dictate that you can do that? I don't know. But you certainly want to find a series or two, if you can, in the flow of the game, where you say 'You know what? You're going to play.' We've done it before in other places when we've had two quarterbacks. We didn't make it a big elaborate deal, but we said 'Here's where we want to work you in.' It's something I think we'll talk seriously about as we get through camp."
Fitch said he was pleased with the progress and competition in spring between Eveld and Floyd, but he said the backup quarterback has to be playing at a high level to justify taking Daniels off the field during meaningful parts of the game.
"They have to earn that right, too," Fitch said. "Just because you're worried about 2013, you don't want to sacrifice 2012. Bobby's played, obviously, but I fully feel that both those guys will be competent players where you can put them in there and 'Go score.' You certainly want to have the goal of playing those guys in set situations in every game if you can."
-- Of the incoming freshmen on offense, Fitch said tight end Sean Price and receiver D'vario Montgomery have turned heads this summer, not only physically but how they handle themselves. "Talking to the people who have been around this summer, they're very pleased with (Price's) makeup, and that's the biggest thing," Fitch said. "It's not so much the physical -- you know Sean Price and D'vario Montgomery are talented players. They look like grown men when they walk down the hallway. But are they mentally capable of the mental strains, the conditioning, the speed, the toughness of it all, the learning curve? That's what you don't know. I think Sean and D'Vario are two guys we'll look at on offense, because of their talent level, the position they play, and to see if they can jell with what we're doing. If they can, it's our job to get them feeling comfortable until they can get their feet on the ground."
Fitch said both could contribute on special teams in addition to growing roles on offense, much like receivers Andre Davis and Ruben Gonzalez did last season as true freshmen.
-- Running back Mike Pierre started classes at the start of summer, six weeks before the fall newcomers, and Fitch has liked the initial impressions he's made. "When he came in, he wasn't quite in as good a shape, which they never are, but he fought through it, caught up with our guys," Fitch said. "With the summer, it's more about the players, their chemistry and their attitude. After two weeks of Mike being here, Sam Barrington of all people walked up to me and said 'I really like that guy. I think he's going to be a good player for us.' Like anything, your peers know about you more than anything we do. That's interesting to hear that a linebacker comes up and says something about a running back."
-- This could just be Fitch motivating backups to work harder, but he mentioned that several Bulls who have played as true freshmen have redshirts available -- if Floyd were the top backup, Eveld could take a redshirt; he also mentioned running backs Marcus Shaw, Pierre and even Lindsey Lamar if they weren't in line for significant playing time. "If you're going to get 10 plays a game, why waste a year?" Fitch asked. He didn't mention tight end Tye Turner, but he's another candidate.