Saturday, January 16, 2010

UPDATE: Another QB on the way

The depth chart at quarterback for Jacksonville State all of a sudden looks crowded.

According to news out of South Dakota earlier in the week, the Gamecocks have another quarterback on the way.

According to the Sioux Falls Argus Leader, two South Dakota State quarterbacks have left the Jackrabbits when it appeared they weren't in the running for the starting job there, with one, Mike Whittier, bound for JSU.

The paper reported SDSU coach John Stiegelmeier saying the two QBs left because they believed the top job belongs to Thomas O'Brien, who started six games as a redshirt freshman and led the team to the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs.

JSU coach Jack Crowe confirmed Monday the Gamecocks received a release for Whittier, but noted his program didn't recruit him or encourage him.

"We didn't resist him coming," Crowe said. "We let anybody come who wants to come ... He knows what our situation is.

"We did not have the door open for a transfer quarterback. He called us. He didn’t have to be told anything other than he's welcome. All he has is a welcome."

Whittier's arrival would give the Gamecocks five quarterbacks now, counting the arrival of Alabama transfer Thomas Darrah and the verbal commitment of Cherokee County quarterback Coty Blanchard. Marques Ivory and Brooks Robinson already are in house, although Robinson likely will be moving to safety.

And there may be more quarterbacks on the way. (Read more about that in Tuesday's Star).

A top-100 quarterback coming out of high school in the St. Louis area, Whittier came to SDSU after signing with the Air Force Academy and spending one season as its prep school, the newspaper said. He redshirted this fall.

Whittier, 6-2 and 210, went through spring drills with the Jackrabbits. He threw for 2,299 yards and 19 touchdowns (with three picks) as a senior in 2007. He passed for 6,151 yards and 57 touchdowns and ran for 20 more scores in his career.

"He's a credible person, a credible student, and he's an athlete," Crowe said. "He just wants a chance to play quarterback and it looks like he's going to get a chance this spring and then we're going to let it (the evolution of the position) happen."

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