New quarterback will not be another Doughty

John Reecer is the sports editor of the College Heights Herald during the spring 2016 semester.

John Reecer

Welcome back to the Hill fellow Hilltoppers! For the new freshmen arriving on campus, welcome to WKU!

Another school year has fallen upon the Hill and unless you are new around here, or if you live under a rock, then you know that a new school year means that Hilltopper football is set to make its return back to the gridiron.

This season looks to be another successful one under third-year head coach Jeff Brohm as the vast majority of last season’s high-powered offense returns and a young defense continues to improve.

However, there is one massive question which still faces the team just mere days before their first game of the season.

Who will lead the Hilltopper offense at quarterback this season?

At the moment, the favorites for the position seem to be two transfers: redshirt junior Mike White and senior Tyler Ferguson as well as redshirt sophomore Drew Eckels who is also still in the mix.

While it seems like a QB controversy would be a good thing with two talented players who previously have been at major colleges, this competition has not been so positive.

Through spring practice and fall camp, both White and Ferguson have displayed flashes of brilliance. However, both have been prone to very inconsistent play causing neither to fully assert themselves as the starter yet.

Ferguson has displayed superior arm strength over White so far, but White has looked like he is more at-home in WKU’s unique offensive scheme.

Despite their strengths, neither has managed to convincingly assert themselves yet as head coach Jeff Brohm has already said that the defense and running game will need to lead the Hilltoppers early on.

To make things even more complicated, whoever wins the competition will have to face two SEC defenses within the first four weeks of the season.

Vanderbilt will be looking for revenge after last season’s defeat in Nashville, while the other defense just happens to be that of the defending national champions.

With a tough schedule to open up the season, fans will need to expect growing pains from the offense.

Yes, the Toppers return a massive amount of production from last year, but quarterback is by far the most important position on the gridiron and none of the candidates have looked impressive at that position yet.

It is actually likely that WKU may enter mid-October with more losses than they recorded all of last year.

No matter how the team fares in the first couple of months, fans must realize that they won’t be as spoiled as they were last year with Brandon Doughty.

Doughty was a once-in-a-lifetime player here at WKU and despite the many talents of White, Ferguson and Eckels, they are not going to be what Doughty was.

And that’s perfectly okay.

WKU will be a drastically different team this year in many aspects which could cause a change in quarterback production. Expectations still need to be high for the team and for its soon to be named quarterback. They just don’t need to be as great as last season’s was.

All three of the players competing for the starting job have displayed enough skill to show that by mid-season the Toppers will have a reliable option behind center.

There will just be several bumps in the road along the way, and the WKU faithful need to be prepared.

Will WKU finish the season ranked in the top 25 again and finish as Conference-USA champs? More than likely, no the Hilltoppers won’t.

However, it is very possible that another bowl game is on the horizon along with somewhere around nine wins.

Whatever the outcome will be, the new starting quarterback will have to have a certain amount of time to ease into the offense which may cause this season to be an up and down roller coaster.

Just get ready for the ride because no matter the highs or lows, this season promises to be an entertaining thrill ride that I’m eager to see.

Sports Editor John Reecer can be reached at [email protected] and at 270-745-6291. Follow him on twitter @Reece_12_Falcon.