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February 18, 2011

Doege leads Tech's QB battle

Last spring, Tommy Tuberville and Neal Brown consistently said that the team's quarterback competition between Taylor Potts and Steven Sheffield was completely even and too close to call -- not so this year. It's clear Seth Doege has a lead over Jacob Karam, Scotty Young and Michael Brewer.

"He's ahead," Brown acknowledged. "He's definitely ahead. He's probably not just a little bit ahead, he's a decent margin ahead but it's open. We're not going to name a starter tomorrow, we're probably not going to name a starter this spring. The quarterback job is open, he's ahead.

"I thought he showed his maturity today. He's got a lot more experience than the other guys. But we're going to give those guys an opportunity to win the job and push Doege."

All of the quarterbacks looked sharp for the first day of spring. Each had a good spiral, good velocity and some touch but it was obvious Doege got more reps and he made the most out of them. The majority of Doege's five incompletions during skeleton drills were drops, and two of those drops were perfect throws into the endzone.

Brown said reps are divided 50-50 between Doege and the field. Of the remaining 50 percent of reps not belonging to Doege, one of the four quarterbacks gets more reps than the rest of the field on a designated day.

It's looking good for Doege, but he's not ready to chalk up the quarterback battle as forgone conclusion.

"I'm not named yet," Doege said. "I'm still working on that. I'm just excited for the opportunity to compete."

You might remember Doege from his memorable performance in the second half of the 2009 Texas A&M game and a subsequent start against Kansas in front of Potts and an injured Sheffield. Doege was also the Red Raiders' No. 1 quarterback for most of last spring when Potts and Sheffield were lost to injuries.

While it might have been an uncomfortable feeling to lose both potential starting quarterbacks last spring, the misfortune is paying off now.

"Any experience is good experience," Doege said. "Just coming out here and knowing what to expect. We want to play fast, we want our tempo to be great and especially because this is the second year (with Brown's offense) I was a lot more confident in what I was doing (today)."

Meanwhile spring ball is an opportunity for Young, a redshirt freshman, to learn the speed of the college game -- and maybe more.

"We've all got some work to do," Young said. "I know personally I've got to catch up with the speed, getting used to how fast we run this offense and just the speed of everything with the play calls and all my responsibilities."

Karam insists that all the quarterbacks in contention know the best way to approach the quarterback quandary is from a positive matter.

"I don't think it would help us at all if we weren't friends and had negative feelings for each other," Karam said. "We all help each other out, we all talk to each other and it's a little bit of a fraternity. And Texas Tech, we've had a tradition here the past 10 or so years that we're very deep at quarterback and that's just the way it is. There's good and bad to everything and the good thing is we all bring something to the table and help each other out and we can all learn from each other.

"There's always good in competition and I think it brings out the best in us and we're blessed to have all these guys here."


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