It seems the long whispered but never confirmed departure of back-up QB Jaybo Shaw has indeed taken place. According to Rival's Kelly Quinlan, Shaw has cleaned out his locker & told teammates goodbye and will head to Georgia Southern to be reunited with former Tech coach Jeff Monken. Oh, yeah, and if you believe the chatter, he'll also be reunited with a certain young lady he has a fondness for (ahem, girlfriend). First, we wish him well & thank him for his time at Tech. Second, we're not in the least bit surprised.
The writing was on the wall last season when, after breaking his clavicle, Shaw was not redshirted but returned after missing over half the season to serve as Nesbitt's back-up. If the staff had plans for Jaybo to be the successor to Nesbitt, they clearly would have redshirted him so as to give him two years of eligibility after Josh graduates. In not doing so, CPJ sent a subtle message to Jaybo that he was perceived as a #2 QB in our system who would eventually lose the battle to succeed Josh. Obviously, Jaybo got the message & decided to leave for GSU, where he will be able to play immediately & greatly help the transition to the spread option offense. Good for him & again, best of luck.
So how's this effect our depth chart? Well with Nesbitt out this spring there are three veteran QB's on the roster & one true freshman who may see reps at the position this spring. Let's look at each:
- Tevin Washington (RS sophomore/6'1", 205): there were rumors that Washington was headed to A-back this spring but that will certainly be put on hold with our current situation. An elusive runner, Washington flashed some playmaking ability with his legs last year during the spring. Washington has had ball-security issues throughout his time at Tech (fumbles galore) and frankly doesn't have the arm to play QB at this level. He'll help with depth this spring but his future is really as an A-back.
- David Sims (RS freshman/5'11", 220): a dynamic high school talent, Sims was recruited by most schools as a safety or running back but chose Tech for an opportunity to play QB. Showed up last year for fall camp overweight, immediately earning himself a spot in CPJ's doghouse. Sims faced a difficult transition last year as he had never taken a snap from under center let alone run an option offense in high school. This made for a steep learning curve & a year spent learning the basics of playing QB in our offense. Sims is a playmaker with his legs; he shows everything you want from an option QB in that area- toughness, elusiveness, strength. The coaching staff, especially coach Bohannon, spent a great deal of time over-hauling Sims throwing mechanics last year which should pay dividends this spring. Sim's arm is adequate for our needs & if he's corrected his slingshot, 3/4 throwing motion his throws should have enough zip to get the job done. In sum, Sims has all the physical tools to get the job done, it's learning the offense & decision-making he needs to work on. One thing to take note of is that if things don't work out at QB Sims could contribute immediately at either A or B-back.
- Jordan Luallen (RS freshman/6'3", 210): Luallen came into last year a highly touted dual threat QB and lost most of fall camp to a sprained ankle. This didn't hold him down for long as once healthy he evidently did an excellent job running the scout team. Luallen's strengths are his knowledge of the offense (he ran a wing-T in high school, very similar to our spread option) and a strong throwing arm. An excellent decision maker, Luallen's arm really brings another dimension to our offense and he's clearly the best passer of the current QB's. Adequate running the ball, Luallen will have to lower his pad level or risk frequent injury.
- B.J. Bostic (freshman/ 5'10", 165): we've maintained all along that Bostic plays offense & we're guessing Shaw's transfer cements this, albeit it not permanently. In high school, Bostic was simply electric with ball in his hands, making plays from all over the field. He'll obviously need to bulk up & learn the offense if he stays at QB. We haven't seen him throw enough to judge that part of his game.
So those are the four guys we expect to see taking snaps this Spring. The two with the most to gain from a good spring are Sims & Luallen as they appear the front-runners to succeed Josh after next season. We'll follow their progress closely this Spring and report back as often as possible. It's invaluable that these young players will get a significant amount of reps as any & all experience is extremely beneficial for them & thus the program. With this current QB situation & installing our new 3-4 defense, this spring will be filled with plenty of action on the Flats.