Ohio’s Quarterback Battle


Football: Ohio prepares for a minor quarterback battle this season

Cameron Fields / For The Post

Two years ago, a battle occurred between Derrius Vick and JD Sprague. A year ago, Quinton Maxwell took on with Greg Windham.

Those have been Ohio’s two quarterback battles of the past two years. And this year, Maxwell, the presumptive starting quarterback, does not have his job fully secure.

Maxwell will battle with Nathan Rourke, a rising junior quarterback who transferred from Fort Scott Community College in Kansas. A Canada native, Rourke began to show why he could compete for the starting job during spring practice.

QB Battle

Matt Starkey | FILE

Quinton Maxwell (7) throws the ball against Toledo at Glass Field October 27, 2016.

Rourke began the spring season learning the Bobcats’ offense, but as the season wore on, he started to make improvements. His reads became sharper, his throws more precise.

Though Rourke began to improve, he still showed a flaw near the end of spring practice. When throwing across the middle, Rourke seemingly would overlook a safety or other defensive back across the secondary, and the safety would often intercept his passes. It’s important to remember, he’s still new to the offense.

Rourke still has time in fall camp to make improvements, but that means the other half of the battle, Maxwell, does too.

Last season, Maxwell took the starting job away from former quarterback Greg Windham. Windham’s production began to dip during the middle of the season, and Maxwell earned the first start of his collegiate career last October against Kent State University.

Maxwell threw for 1,247 yards and eight touchdowns during his redshirt freshman season.

Aside from those two quarterbacks both having legitimate shots at being the starter, Ohio likes to have two quarterbacks ready throughout the season. That’s not unusual; it’s simply about being prepared.

If one quarterback goes down because of injury, then the next one can enter the starting role seamlessly.

But perhaps Ohio doesn’t mind having a minor quarterback battle for a reason other than being prepared: The Bobcats simply love the competition.

Maxwell is the favorite to win the job, and with his strong work ethic, he probably will. But Rourke will be waiting to rise, because for Ohio, a quarterback always is.

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Development by: Taylor Johnston / Digital Production Editor

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