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SOU Kicks Off Spring Practices With Four-Way Battle at Quarterback

Coming off a trip to the NAIA semifinals, the Raiders enter a new season without a clear-cut starter at quarterback.

Posted: Apr 9, 2018 5:52 PM
Updated: Apr 9, 2018 7:03 PM

ASHLAND—Day one of Southern Oregon football’s spring practice sessions was also day one of the quarterback search to replace a graduating Tanner Trosin.

It’s an open competition and no starter has been named, although offensive coordinator Ken Fasnacht said he’s hoping to gain more clarity by the end of the four-week period.

In the meantime, it’s four inexperienced underclassmen vying for the starting job (and redshirt junior Craig Contreras recovering from a minor injury).

“My skillset is more towards what coach Fas teaches us as a unit,” redshirt sophomore Wyatt Hutchinson said. “He teaches us to keep our composure in the pocket and go through reads.”

“Wyatt I would say is the most athletic one,” redshirt freshman Trent Banner said. “I’d say Chase (Knutz) and I are the gunslingers, and Jaylen (Tregle) has attributes for every area.”

The spring quarterback battle pits Hutchinson, Banner, the sophomore Tregle and the transfer Knutz. Hutchinson, Banner and Tregle were on the roster last year, trying to soak in as much knowledge as possible from Trosin.

“He prepares the right way,” Tregle said.

“He did a good job of taking us under his wing, kind of showing us the ways of quarterback,” Hutchinson said.

Knutz is the newcomer of the group, but doesn’t lack pedigree. Out of high school in 2016, he went to Portland State, then transferred to Pima Community College in Arizona in 2017. Now at SOU, he views it as a perfect fit.

“I reached out to coach Hall and said, ‘Hey, I know you guys lost your quarterback. I play quarterback.’ I just wanted to see if he wanted to give it a shot and he did. I’m here now and I’m ready to roll.”

Consider it a friendly competition, with the keys to the SOU offense up for grabs.

“Competition brings out the best of people,” Hutchinson said.

“We’re all going to thrive off of it and become the best players we can be and whoever puts the most time into it is going to be on the field,” Banner said.

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