Sunday, February 18, 2018
Colleges

Florida State Seminoles' EJ Manuel, five other QBs try to impress at Senior Bowl

MOBILE, Ala. — Quarterbacks in college all-star games have tough assignments.

The six at today's Senior Bowl will play off cliff notes of an unfamiliar offense, throw to unfamiliar receivers, take snaps from an unfamiliar center and — for some just as important — take snaps from under center instead of the shotgun.

All with dozens of scouts, coaches and NFL executives studying their every move.

"It's a job interview," Syracuse quarterback Ryan Nassib said, "so you've got to be ready to go when it's time to go."

West Virginia's Geno Smith, considered by many to be the top quarterback prospect, skipped the game.

That leaves Nassib, N.C. State's Mike Glennon and Zac Dysert Miami (Ohio) for the North team, and Florida State's E.J. Manuel, Oklahoma's Landry Jones and Arkansas' Tyler Wilson for the South team. All piled up big college numbers — then had to start over on Monday.

"People underestimate how difficult it is when you come into an environment like this," Lions and South coach Jim Schwartz said.

The six quarterbacks bring plenty of experience to the task. They've logged an average of 10,000-plus passing yards and 71 touchdowns. Jones is, perhaps, the biggest name. The four-year starter threw for 16,646 yards and 123 touchdowns.

"I look around, and there's some really talented quarterbacks here; guys that I've been hearing about all year long and watching on TV," Nassib said. "It's a very competitive class. I just have to make sure I go out and play my game and try to prove myself to these teams here."

Manuel, at 6 feet 4, 237 pounds, has impressed Schwartz.

"The thing that pops out is his size," said Schwartz, who also praised his accuracy. "(Ben) Roethlisberger's a big quarterback, but I think he's got nothing on Manuel. He's got super long arms. He looks like a tight end out there. He's just a really, really big man."

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