Football Practice Report No. 7

Football Practice Report No. 7
Wednesday, August 13, 2008

NEWBERRY, S.C. - A light rain fell throughout Wednesday's practice session as the Newberry College football team continued preseason practice. One of the often asked questions thus far has been in regards to the starting quarterback position. Wednesday's practice confirmed that the race is as tight as it's ever been.

Both junior Brandon Gantt (Lexington, S.C.) and senior Eric McCollom (Camden, S.C.) are in the running to be the starting quarterback for the scarlet and gray in 2008, and both players have taken turns with repetitions as the No. 1 signal caller. Head coach Zak Willis confirmed the ongoing battle on "Sports Talk" with Phil Kornblut following practice as Kornblut visited the Newberry campus as part of his Palmetto Pigskin Tour.

"Brandon was 7-2 as a starter last year and Eric was 2-0 as a starter, so we're in a good situation. They're still battling it out," Willis said. "As multiple as we've been in the past, anything is possible with us, but we don't know yet. Eric had a great day today and yesterday Brandon had a great day. I like the continuity of one quarterback and you'd have to be careful switching out quarterbacks. That will probably be a decision we make a couple of weeks from now."

Gantt, McCollom and senior linebacker Will Newell (Irmo, S.C.) all had their chance to speak with Kornblut on "Sports Talk" as well, and as expected, represented the team well.

Gantt referred to the quarterback battle as a friendly competition, with he and McCollom helping each other to become better players. He expects the battle to help the team overall because "competition breeds success."

Many questions about that competition will be addressed during Saturday's scrimmage. The time for that scrimmage will be announced in Thursday's practice report.