When Norfolk State opens the regular season at Marshall on Sept. 3, the quarterback taking first-team reps under center likely could remain a mystery until kickoff.
The Spartans will be looking to replace all-time leading passer Juwan Carter from a quartet of understudies that include Jonah Fitzgerald, Chris Price, Jaylan Adams, Kyler Davis and Teddy Watson.
Head coach Dawson Odums, in his second season at Norfolk State, was coy when asked whether a starting quarterback is close to being named 11 days out from the team’s trip to Huntington, West Virginia.
Also read: These are the 5 most intriguing HBCU quarterback battles heading into fall practice
“We really believe we have some guys who are competing for this job,” said Odums on The BOXTOROW HBCU Football Podcast. “But we’re probably not going to name a starter until game week or right at the kickoff, so it’s a great battle taking place and we have some guys who are fighting for that job.”
‘Get your tickets’
Odums, to maintain secrecy about the status of the competition to this point, wouldn’t even identify the quarterbacks by name to reveal the official depth chart.
Fitzgerald, one of the contenders, is a redshirt sophomore, who threw four passes last season as the backup for Carter. Then there is Price, a redshirt freshman a year ago who did not appear in a single game for the Spartans and might be a longshot to advance up the depth chart.
Adams, the Citadel transfer quarterback, might have the inside track at starting just based on experience alone. In 2021, Adams appeared in 11 games and rushed for 757 yards and nine touchdowns. He also threw for 279 yards and three touchdowns.
Two other quarterbacks listed on the Spartans’ preliminary 2022 fall roster — Watson and Izayah Whiteside — are both freshmen.
“Get your tickets,” said Odums. “We have some guys in the mix who we think are exciting. No matter the order I say the names, everyone is going to perceive that’s the order. I always say we have four (quarterbacks) and leave it at that.”
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