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What's Happening In Spring Ball? (Part 1)
Florida State QB Christian Ponder
Florida State QB Christian Ponder
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Apr 11, 2010


From the play of Christian Ponder at a resurgent Florida State, to the potential two-quarterback situation at Florida, to the emerging star at Georgia and Kyle Parker's big decision at Clemson, here's Part One of What's Going On In Spring Football 2010 ... The Quarterbacks.

Spring Football 2010

What's Going On? ... Part 1

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Florida’s two quarterback situation … huh?!
For all the controversy surrounding the idea that Florida finally has an NFL quarterback under center, Urban Meyer has done his best to squash expectations by announcing that the offense will go to a two quarterback system with John Brantley the passer and freshman Trey Burton more of a runner. However, Burton completed 12-of-18 passes for 120 yards to go along with 123 on the ground. Meanwhile, Brantley had the special look for the downfield passing game completing 15-of-19 passes for 201 yards and two scores. It’s not like the Gator defense turned up the heat, but Brantley looked the part, is turning into a leader, and might emerge from Tim Tebow’s shadow quicker than many might believe.

Georgia’s quarterback situation
Georgia needs to get more from its quarterback. It’s not like Joe Cox was bad last season, but he was hardly Matthew Stafford. That’s why all the attention on Georgia’s G-Day game was on Logan Gray and Aaron Murray to see who would step up and shine in front of close to 40,000 fans. And the answer was … Zach Mettenberger. While he is suspended for the first game of the year after getting arrested last month for underage drinking, he was impressive completing 6-of-10 passes for 150 yards and two scores. He didn’t face the first team defense, but he was good enough to warrant a longer look later this summer. Gray wasn’t bad, completing 10-of-17 passes for 132 yards and a score, but Murray struggled a bit completing 10-of-22 throws for 96 yards. Mettenberger winds up a bit too much to deliver his fastball, but he moved well and threw with power and touch. All the spring game did was put the pressure on the top two options with Mettenberger lurking.

By Aaron Caraher

Updated 4/18
ZACH METTENBERGER KICKED OFF THE TEAM


Zach Mettenberger has been kicked off of the Georgia football team for a violation of team rules. He was already on thin ice (and facing a one-game suspension) after his spring break arrest on underage drinking charges, but this was still a surprise. With his strong arm, he was great throughout spring ball and was making a strong case to be Joe Cox’s replacement.

So what does this mean for Georgia football? Although the team lost a nice talent, there is suddenly quite a bit more clarity to the QB picture. Now Logan Gray and Aaron Murray are the only contenders for the position and most fans think that means Murray is the guy (head coach Mark Richt’s opinion has yet to be heard, but he is supposed to release a depth chart in the next week). One thing is for sure - if the injury bug hits at the QB position, Georgia will be in serious trouble.

Clemson and Kyle Parker’s baseball career
The Tigers held their spring game and Parker, the projected starting quarterback, was terrific at times looking calm, cool and confident even though he only completed 7-of-15 passes (and caught 23-yard touchdown pass). However, there’s no questioning his ability or his potential to make Clemson a more dangerous passing team; the problem is baseball. He’s a far better prospect as a major league outfielder than an NFL quarterback and he’s been going back and forth between the two sports. There’s talk he could earn around $2 million out of the gate as a top draft pick this June, and he might bail on football meaning the Tigers would be stuck with Tajh Boyd, who completed just 8-of-25 passes for 132 yards in the spring game.

North Carolina’s quarterbacks
The Tar Heels might have the most talented defense in America with a boatload of top 50 NFL draft prospects, but the season will come down to an offense that sputtered throughout last year. Head coach Butch Davis has said from the start of spring ball that he’s looking to play two quarterbacks, and while T.J. Yates is the veteran who’s being given every shot to make the team his, redshirt freshman Bryn Renner is looking strong completing 15-of-21 passes for 184 yards and a score with two interceptions in the spring game. He’s a good runner and a potentially dangerous playmaker, but for a team that will put a premium on not turning the ball over and letting the defense win games, ball security will mean everything for an offense that has to start out the season with LSU.

Colorado’s quarterback situation STILL isn’t settled
From all indications this spring, Colorado is going to be winging it around in an attempt to find something that works offensively. However, once again it’s Cody Hawkins, Tyler Hansen orTyler Hansen, Cody Hawkins as far as who’s running the attack. Neither one has been able to make Colorado a regular winner, but they’re both experienced and they’re both fighting for the starting quarterback job … still. Hansen is the more mobile of the two and he came up with a fantastic passing performance completing 20-of-26 throws for 220 yards and two touchdowns in the spring game, while Hawkins was just as solid completing 17-of-22 passes for 170 yards and three scores.

Jimbo’s Florida State Seminoles
It’s not like anyone was desperate to see Bobby Bowden go, but there has been a new buzz and a new energy around the program under Jimbo Fisher, partly because there’s a sense that there’s something to prove. All eyes were on Christian Ponder, the rising quarterback who was one of the few bright spots last year before he got hurt. Over 51,000 fans cane to see what the Noles were going to do, and Ponder, who appeared close to 100% after separating his shoulder last year, had good zip on the ball and decent command, even with a few rust spots. The weapons are there including Bert Reed, who caught ten passes for 163 yards, and if nothing else, FSU should be more aggressive all the way around. Ponder could be on the verge of superstardom if he stays healthy.