Editor's Note: This is the first in a series of articles previewing the 2013 football season at Missouri S&T. The daily stories will feature one position, or a set of positions, each weekday until the team reports August 11.Today's story features the Miner quarterbacks.
As the Missouri S&T football team heads into pre-season workouts for the 2013 season, the Miner offensive unit has a number of question marks based on the fact that the squad lost nine starters from last year's 10-1 team.
Nowhere is that more in the spotlight than at quarterback, where S&T lost starter Josh Firm to graduation and the other signalcallers have anywhere from limited to no playing experience at the collegiate level. Who gets that job – and even how the quarterbacks will be employed – will be one of the focal points of the pre-season.
"There's still a lot of uncertainty as to what we're going to do at quarterback," said Miner head coach Tyler Fenwick. "It could be a two-quarterback situation. It will all depend on who has the ability to lead the offense, complete passes and direct traffic get us in the right positions to be successful. "
Reed Brown (Rogers, Ark./Heritage HS), who served as one of the backups last fall, got the most playing time of any of the reserves at the position and saw extensive time in two games when Firm was dealing with a late-season injury. He completed 30-of-56 passes for 346 yards and six touchdowns in that role during the 2012 campaign.
Evan Merz (O'Fallon, Mo./St. Dominic HS) also appeared in six contests and completed six of his 11 throws for 108 yards, while also running for 78 yards on six carries. However, Brown and Merz were not on the field a great deal during the Miners' spring season, as Brown was playing baseball for S&T and Merz was spending the semester away from campus as part of the university's cooperative education program.
In their absence, redshirt freshmen Peter Simpson (St. Louis, Mo./Lindbergh) and Logan Fitch (Columbia, Mo./Hickman) got the majority of the snaps during the month of April and also figure to be in the mix for the starting role.
"We'll find out through camp and put all of them in situations where they have to make things happen," Fenwick said. "It is going to be tough on them, because we have only a few weeks until the first game, but we're also going to keep it simple and not put a whole lot on their shoulders.
"It's going to be a case of learning the system, directing traffic and the qualities of knowing where to go with the ball and taking care of it and not giving it to the other team," Fenwick added. "Whoever can be the most consistent will have the upper hand."
Page 2 of 2 - Missouri S&T also brought in a pair of incoming freshmen at the position in Tyler Swart (Dickinson, Texas/Dickinson) and Tyler Ferrell (Salt Lake City, Utah/West), giving it six quarterbacks in the preseason camp.