“What we’d like to do is have a scrimmage that’s long enough and covers enough range of things within the scrimmage, meaning situationally, that we can go back and try to narrow who are our top two to three players are at each position,” Chizik said Tuesday. “Because the name of the game at this point, after a week of practice, is to try and zero in on the guys you really believe can help you. That’s what that will be. It will be a huge evaluation. Our first big evaluation.”
That evaluation includes the quarterbacks, where the Tigers have a three-way battle ongoing between redshirt junior Barrett Trotter, redshirt sophomore Clint Moseley and freshman Kiehl Frazier.
Trotter and Moseley battled on even terms throughout the spring. Frazier joined the fray in the fall.
“We’re all still alive,” Trotter said, when asked how the quarterbacks are doing. “We’re doing well. We’ve got a long way to go still, all of us do. We’re making strides every day. We’re trying to learn everything we need to do. It’s going well.”
Trotter said Frazier has been impressive, but prone to making freshman mistakes.
“He’s picking up things well,” Trotter said. “He’s got a really strong arm. He does some really good things sometimes. Then sometimes he gets confused and doesn’t know where to do. That’s part of being a freshman. That’s something he’s going to have to work through. Overall, he’s doing really well.”
Chizik wavered a bit when asked if the reps at quarterback were being divided equally three ways.
“Not necessarily,” he said. “I think there are a lot of variables in there. We’re splitting it up pretty close, but there are arm issues. Some guys’ arms are tired. It just depends. For the most part, it’s fairly equal.”
Trotter said the coaches have been careful not to overwork the quarterbacks.
“The coaches try to be smart with how much we’re throwing and makingsure all the reps are quality reps,” he said. “That’s the big thing we emphasize.You have to be smart and you have to be cautious. At the same time,you’re fighting for a job and you have to go 100 percent all the time.When the winner of that job will be announced is anybody’s guess, but Trotter knows today’s scrimmage will be critical.
“I definitely think it’ll be important,” he said. “It’s going to be our first realscrimmage of fall camp. I don’t think it’s going to be anything too crazy as far as how much it matters. All of camp is just as important — any one day compared to the next is not more or less important than the other.”
Trotter said his emphasis in today’s scrimmage will be simple — moving the team and scoring points.
“Getting the ball in the endzone,” he said. “That’s pretty much the goal. Make sure we have no busts. The ball goes where it needs to on the reads and the coverages.”
Meanwhile, Chizik refuses to be pinned down when asked about a cutoff point on naming a starting quarterback.
“We want to do it like every other position — as soon as we can,” he said. “Again, we’ve got to be very thorough and very patient in the evaluation because again, these are very, very good players and there may not be a lot of difference in the end. So we want to make sure we do everything we can to thoroughly evaluate the whole process.”