Football notebook: Quarterback position “wide open,” Brohm says

Kyle Williams

The second day of Fall Camp came to a close Wednesday night and according to Offensive Coordinator Jeff Brohm, there wasn’t much improvement in terms of quarterback play.

Although Brohm has pegged junior Brandon Doughty as the favorite for the starter job, he said the position is still undetermined.

“It’s still a battle,” Brohm said. “We’re trying to give everyone equal reps right now early in camp. They put in a lot of hard work in the summer on their own. I think they’re ready to compete for the job. Right now, it’s still wide open.”

Brohm and the WKU coaching staff are expecting steady quarterback play in Coach Bobby Petrino’s revamped offense this year.

“They’ve got to be the toughest guy on the field,” Brohm said. “They’ve got to be able to play when conditions are tough and they’ve got to be able to lead the team as much as just doing everything right on the field as far as decision-making. So it’s a continuous battle and I think it will play itself out.”

Quarterbacks feeding off of each other

Although Doughty is the leading candidate for the starting quarterback role, sophomore quarterback DaMarcus Smith, a former player Louisville’s Seneca High School, believes the race is neck-and-neck.

“It’s pretty intense competition,” Smith said. “We both feed off of each other. He’s also a veteran I know I can learn from so at the same time while we’re not competing I have to watch him every rep.”

Smith went on to say it’s not easy playing quarterback in Petrino’s system.

“It’s the hardest position,” Smith said. “Especially playing for Coach Petrino, a lot of people don’t understand, that’s a tough coach. What he expects from his quarterbacks is a lot.”

Young receivers looking to fill void

Wide receivers coach Lamar Thomas said that both the freshman and veteran receivers are working hard toward a shot at playing next season.

Thomas said after the second day that many of the freshmen receivers have been impressive early on, namely Taywan Taylor, a product of Louisville’s Pleasure Ridge Park High School.

“This is a young group,” Thomas said. “…About five or six freshmen are all competing for an opportunity and these older guys here are competing every day and I’m really proud of them. THey;ve really stepped up to the plate.”

Thomas went on to say that the first-year receivers have a lot to learn right off the bat.

“It’s really tough to learn this offense,” Thomas said. “They’re freshmen. What we’re trying to do and what I;m trying to do is teach them different ways on how to study and how to learn the offense.

“They’re freshmen. Just a couple of months ago they were at prom.”

McNeal assuming leadership role

Junior wide receiver Willie McNeal is the lone veteran on WKU’s receiving core this season, and Thomas said he’s been forced into a leadership role.

“Willie has done a good job so far,” Thomas said. “He’s been thrust in the leadership role. It’s a lot of responsibility, especially with a room full of players.”

McNeal said he embraces his newly-acquired role and is looking forward to capitalizing in Petrino’s new-look offense.

“I love that we’re throwing the ball a lot,” McNeal said. “We just have to make the plays now. He’s giving us the opportunity now and all we have to do is make the plays.”