Well, the long awaited word from head coach Mike Riley has yet to come down. Once again, another start of another week during Fall camp, and the Beavers still aren't sure who will be under center come August 31 against Eastern Washington for the upcoming season.
The announcement - between whether it would be Mannion or Vaz - was thought to be coming down at the end of last week. Yet, come Thursday and Friday, nothing. So most assumed Riley would decide over the weekend and pick Monday afternoon. And as practice ended, Riley approached the media circle to let us know he still has no idea who he wants to start.
So a team that's coming off of a nine-win season and bringing back a lot of talent and has high expectations, still doesn't have, what most believe, to be the leader. The poster boy. If you talk to different assistant coaches and players, it's not a decision that seems to really startle them in terms of knowing who it will be. Vaz did get a lot of reps with the first team offense, but did not have his best day. He threw two interceptions, and Mannion had a consistent day. Not a great, but consistent. So now only time will tell who Riley wants to take the Beavers to the promise land.
As for the patience of the fan base that seems to be getting anxious not having a chosen QB, potential starter Cody Vaz said, "They (fans) have to have patience. I do too!" Vaz also said he believes having this competition is great because it "pushes us." We'll see if it is or not once the season begins.
In other news at practice Riley did announce some names that will not be redshirting this year. Those are safety - Brandon Arnold, Linebacker - Darrell Songy, and Cornerback - Dashon Hunt. Riley also brought up wide receiver/specialist Victor Bolden. He said Bolden is on the bubble as a guy who could play or redshirt. I spoke with wide receivers coach Brent Brennan, and he gave a lot of praise Bolden's way, but he added that if it were his call he'd have more players redshirt, just for a learning and building standpoint. Bolden, by most, has been compared to Brandin Cooks. The potential is there, but he'll need to put on some weight and redshirting might be a great thing in the longevity of his future. Especially this season with how deep the Beavers appear to be at the wide out spot.
As for the guys named, Arnold received a lot of praise from defensive coordinator Mark Banker. He's a quick learner, who's showed great signs this fall camp, and could get some valuable time on special teams, and maybe a couple snaps on the defensive side.
Darrell Songy is a linebacker who was able to come in and make an impact immediately. Now with the temporary loss of OLB D.J. Alexander, Songy could have an opportunity to come in and help the Beavers and give much-needed depth.
Hunt is a shorter corner, but his ability to stick to the wideouts has stoodout. He has the build to play and Riley and Banker have admired how quickly he's been to catch on to the playbook.