Will QB Ben McLane take the first snap on August 30th? Photo Courtesy of GSU Sports Communications.
With Georgia State football set to open Fall camp in a little more than a week, key positions will need to be ironed out in the next five weeks before the season opens. We're jumping in head first into the key position battles to watch in the first of an ongoing series.
If you ask every Georgia State football fan, analyst or casual observer about what position battle they’re most interested in watching this fall the overwhelming answer the quarterback position. The production at this position for this program has been erratic since the Drew Little Era and while there’s a lot of talent has passed through the program no one has emerged as the clear choice as of yet.
The position as a corps is very young and inexperienced, especially against FBS level competition. Incumbent starter Ben McLane, a redshirt sophomore, will likely enter fall camp as the starter. McLane threw as many touchdowns (10) as INT’s (11) in his first year as a starter. Ben has also shown he is most productive when the offense is balanced which will be a goal for new offensive coordinator Jeff Jagodznski. He has one advantage over his competition is a start last year again the Tennessee Volunteers where he showed signs of leadership, maturity and toughness.
In this new regime, competition (at every position) will be a focal point, especially at QB. RS Sophomore Ronnie Bell (formerly of the Ohio Bobcats) had flashes of brilliance in 2012, like his 54-yard touchdown pass to Albert Wilson against New Hampshire. However, he also had far too many moments that had fans scratching their heads (10 INT in 7 games). Bell was thrown into a situation where his experience should have won out in 2012. If he can refrain from the turnover bug of 2012, find more underneath route-runners in the passing game, and keep his composure Bell could put himself in position to play.
The favorite to ultimately win this position battle by season’s end is incoming transfer Clay Chastain (from Georgia Military College). His production at the junior college level was quite impressive, which is what made him one of the top Junior College signal callers in the nation. Chastain has a physical attributes at 6'4, 210lbs and skill set that bring hope to a fan base desperate for a QB to emerge. Despite his struggles this spring getting acclimated to a new team and the level of competition the future looks bright with this young signal-caller.
Let the fan battle begin: Who do you feel wins the QB battle? Does McLane's experience ultimately win out vs. Clay's physical talent? Can Ronnie Bell harness his big arm?