Over the next two weeks, we’ll pose and answer a question a day in each county about the upcoming football season. Have a topic you think needs to be addressed? E-mail us at email@example.com
Who will start the season at quarterback for Gaither?
Why do we ask? Because the transfer of rising sophomore Alex McGough from Wesley Chapel has given new coach Jason Stokes a tantalizing dilemma. Junior incumbent Shug Oyegunle (1,701 total yards in 2010) is an established dual threat, but McGough — a pro-style alternative — has enjoyed a breakthrough summer. With Oyegunle lined up at receiver, McGough led Gaither to a runnerup finish at the 51-team USF Sling and Shoot 7-on-7 tournament two weekends ago.
What they’re saying
Stokes: “I think it gives us a great advantage. They’re both capable, so what we’re going to do is we’re going to have packages for both of them. In my eyes, we don’t have a starter. We have packages. Alex has a short memory, so when he makes a mistake he overcomes it quickly. He’s just cool. Shug has athleticism, but his leadership is what really sets him apart.”
Oyegunle: “(McGough) has good potential. He’s just got to make the right reads and not force anything, that’s it.” (Oyegunle added he has no problem moving to receiver if McGough wins the QB job)
What we're saying
Eduardo A. Encina: Some might dismiss Gaither’s 7-on-7 success, but the Cowboys’ program took a huge turn this summer. Extra snaps aside, Gaither gained invaluable confidence going into the season with McGough under center, but Oyegunle has unquestioned experience and leadership. But the greatest advantage Gaither will have is simply having both players on the field at the same time, which will give Stokes the ability to switch looks — and quarterbacks — pre-snap, stretching the field regardless of who is under center.
Joey Knight: McGough has brandished a lively, proficient arm — minus the burden of pads or a pass rush. The notion of Oyegunle having the ball in his hands every snap would seem to impose a greater burden on defenses. If McGough proves he’s more than a 7-on-7 Wunderkind and performs well in full-contact settings, the guess here is Stokes implements a platoon system. At the least, Oyegunle would be ideal in a Wildcat formation.
By Eduardo A. Encina and Joey Knight, Times staff writers
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