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Monday, May 2, 2016

Tigers still searching for a starting quarterback to step up

Friday, August 23, 2013

Sophomore Jake Hemrick (left), attempts a screen pass during practice on Wednesday, is one of several quarterbacks vying for the starting job at DePauw this preseason.
(Banner Graphic/GRANT WIEMAN) [Order this photo]
The DePauw football team bounced between a pair a starting quarterbacks during the 2012 season, but with a new head coach and a new system starting to take shape, the Tigers are hoping to single one out for this year.

They just aren't sure yet who it'll be.

Drew Seaman, now a junior, is battling sophomore Justin Murray and a host of younger players vying for the starting spot.

"We've got a bunch of them that are pretty good and we've tried to give them all some reps when we can," DPU head coach Bill Lynch said. "We've kind of gone with (the plan of), we're going to give them equal reps, so we'll see."

Lynch said he and quarterbacks coach Brett Dietz have been discussing options and trying to get a plan for what's best for the team. That could depend a lot on what the Tigers need from their quarterback.

Seaman proved to be a more accomplished and accurate passer last season, but statistically the two were extremely close. Murray finished last year completing 51.5 percent of his passes for 1,168 yards and Seaman was at 53.3 percent and 1,031 yards.

Seaman took better care of the ball, but Murray took more chances. Passing efficiency may not be the team's only concern. Lynch said he hopes to be balanced with it rush and pass plays and the team is working to do that in practice.

Murray is the more mobile option and if the team struggles to run the ball, as it did last season (just 80 yards per game, by average), getting him action could be a way to challenge the defense with a ground attack.

Those two are the most experienced, but the Tigers have several others that Lynch said are fighting for the job.

"Jake Hemrick is a sophomore and he's got some talent," Lynch said. "Griffin Dollee has missed some time because he had elbow surgery, but he knows what he's doing. And then some of the freshmen we've brought in are pretty talented."

Complicating the situation even more are the numerous distractions and injuries that have cut into the reps of most of the options.

Murray will serve as a resident adviser this year, so he's missed practice time with training, and Seaman has been hampered by a hamstring injury.

The season is closing in and the Tigers will host an intra-squad scrimmage Friday, but Lynch said he's not sure who will be the first quarterback on the field for that. He also didn't seem too concerned.

"I'd like to be able to give you an answer to what we're going to do the week of the first game, but we've still got 10 days until we're going to make that decision," he said. "Right now -- and I've always kind of approached it this way -- you get through that first big scrimmage, and then you've got to starting making some big decisions and seeing what's best for your team."

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