Starting quarterback of a college football team not only requires a strong arm, but also strong leadership.
Southwestern College has two potential starters competing for the top spot for the fall. Last year’s starting quarterback, returning sophomore Brett Nelson, and Arizona Western College transfer Cory Lockman, both said they know what it takes to be a college quarterback and what they need to do to earn the starting position.
Nelson said a quarterback has to be committed to make himself better and to lift his entire team.
“You have to be the cerebral part of whatever position you’re taking,” said Nelson. “As a quarterback you can’t just be ‘all arm’ or ‘all mind’ individually, you have to combine both and be able to get the job done.”
Lockman said he relates being a quarterback to being in command of an army.
“You need to be a strong leader on the field, you need to have all your teammates believe in you and you need to make sure everybody is in the right spot at the right time,” he said. “It’s pretty much like being a general on the field.”
Although Nelson and Lockman are battling it out with one another, they both said they have personal points to work on.
“I need to have more confidence in myself,” said Nelson. “The coaches tell me that I can do things and that I have the ability to make things happen. I just need to focus more and keep sight of what I need to do.”
Lockman said he still has the “army” personality attached to his style of play.
“I need to be more of a leader and push people to their highest potential,” he said. “It’s time to get serious for this up-coming season.”
Spring football plays a big part in deciding which players will start and which players will be back-ups. Nelson and Lockman have been competing vigorously with each other, but they both said they feel good about where they stand.
“The competition between Brett and me is pretty close right now,” said Lockman. “I think it’ll come down to the spring scrimmage. All I know is that I’m going to work my hardest and that I will play even better with pads on because that’s really where I shine.”
Nelson said he is not fazed by his competition.
“I was the starting quarterback last year and I feel like that gives me an edge to Cory because I’ve already proven myself,” he said. “I am one of the bigger leaders of the team and I have a very good understanding of not only our offensive scheme, but also the people who are playing with me.”
Wide receiver Jordan Jacobs said the competition between Nelson and Lockman is very close.
“Both of them have their positives and negatives,” he said. “Brett is a team leader, he knows what he’s doing because he was here last year and I have more of a bonding experience with him. He’s come a long way from last year because I can see it in the way he plays, the way he throws and his work ethic is unbelievable. But even with saying all that, Cory is more of a show-out player. He shows up and gets the job done. He has a powerful arm, and it seems like he can throw for miles and miles. Cory’s a little bit faster than Brett and has better moves, so he will definitely challenge him to be the starter.”
Wide receiver Miles Paul said he likes both quarterbacks, but until they get pads on it is hard to say who will be the starter.
“Brett sees the field more and has better vision, but Cory can just go out and do it because he has such a powerful arm,” he said. “They both have their advantages and I think we can use both of them during the season.”
Head Coach Ed Carberry said he sees great potential in both players, so the starting job will be a tough one to grasp.
“Both Brett and Cory are Division I quarterbacks,” said Carberry. “Brett has a lot of experience because he probably had around 800 snaps last year. Plus he’s got a tremendous understanding of the offense. He understands each play and where everybody fits. Cory on the other hand, has an arm that is more powerful than anybody I’ve seen since a guy I coached back in 1984. And I mean this guy had a cannon. Cory’s got a good touch on the ball, he’s a fiery kind of guy and he’s a man of the people. The guys respect him and his effort.”
Carberry said having a solid quarterback carry the offense throughout the season is essential and the two candidates that are lined up for the job will continue to challenge each other throughout the season.
“They have to compete every day and whoever wins the job will be the starter,” he said. “Both will get to play, especially the first few games before league. One guy will play three quarters, while the other will play one quarter. We will see who can move the offense and from there it’s a renewable one-week contract. We’re very result-oriented, so we need a quarterback that can lead this team.”