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March 23, 2009

Spring Synopsis: Quarterback

Inside Tulsa Sports begins its outline of Tulsa football's Spring Drills with a breakdown of the quarterback position, including a look at the players leaving and returning, additions for spring, and the overall outlook. Offensive Coordinator Herb Hand also lends his thoughts on the Golden Hurricane's search for a new starting QB.

2008 Summary

The quarterback position was once again a strength for Tulsa, despite breaking in a new starter. David Johnson made the most of his opportunity, stepping in for the graduated Paul Smith, Tulsa's all-time passing yardage leader. Other than an off game in the C-USA Championship, the position was steady, with Johnson starting every game and staying away from the injury bug.

Contributors Leaving

David Johnson. Finished his senior season at No. 2 nationally in efficiency rating (178.69), No. 6 in yards (4,059) and No. 9 in yards per game (289.9). Completed 258-of-400 passes with 46 touchdowns and 18 interceptions.

Contributors Returning

Jacob Bower, junior, 11-of-15 for 138 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT passing, 18-106 yards, 1 TD rushing. Bower played in all 14 games, showing great arm strength and the ability to make plays with his feet. Of the quarterbacks on the TU roster, he is the most knowledgeable of the offense.

G.J. Kinne, sophomore, no stats. Kinne redshirted at the University of Texas in 2007 before transferring to Tulsa last summer. Highly touted out of high school in Texas, he ran the scout team for TU last year.

Additions for Spring

Shavodrick Beaver, true freshman. Rated as the No. 8 dual-threat quarterback in the class of 2009, Beaver graduated high school a semester early and enrolled at Tulsa, choosing the Hurricane over Michigan, Arizona, Texas Tech and others. He will be a wildcard in the depth chart battle.

Spring Outlook

For the second year in a row, Tulsa's spring drills will include a battle for the starting quarterback spot. The brutality of today's college game has proven that one quarterback does not always play every game in a season, so competition will be intense for all the places on the depth chart between the three scholarship contenders. All three players consider themselves as dual-threats. Bower has the upper hand due to experience in the system, but Kinne was able to show glimpses of promise during practices. The key for Beaver will be how quickly he can pick up the offense.

Coach's Corner

"Obviously it will be one of our focuses of the spring to find out who is going to be our starter. Jacob Bower is a guy that is going to have some experience managing the offense and played some last year. As far as a guy that could go out and run the offense right now, Jacob could a fine job with that, as far as managing it, being able to make the right calls, and getting guys lined up.

"G.J. was here, but basically spent all of his time on scout team, so he is very limited as far as running the offense. Although during bowl practice, he got some real good experience. G.J. did get a chance to operate. It was in a real limited version (of the offense).

"Of course, Shavodrick is going to be really green. He's inexperienced right now, until he gets out there and gets some reps.

"We want to figure (the starter) out as quick as possible, so we can start getting the guy ready for the fall. But we've got three really good ones." -- Tulsa Offensive Coordinator Herb Hand

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