There’s no debate that the quarterback position is the most important position on the field when it comes to college football. You can win games without a great quarterback but you won’t win the big games without a guy who as at least make plays for your offense. Louisville will be in a unique place this season because they will be making a transition with a new staff but they also have an offense that could get by without exceptional play from their quarterbacks.
Jawon Pass is the presumed starter going into camp and the staff seems to be very comfortable with where they stand in the QB room. The staff came in and looked for transfer options but gave up on that once spring workouts started. What they saw in the spring was good enough and I’m starting to buy into the idea that Pass could play well enough to win games for Louisville.
Pass has the ability that any coach would love to have but he has been extremely inconsistent during his time here. If the staff can fix some of his issues with that as well as his decision making, he could be plenty good enough to lead a run-focused offense. One very big positive is that Pass will be playing for a coach that will utilize the offense to help Pass as opposed to expecting the quarterback to do it on his own.
Malik Cunningham will likely be the backup quarterback while also playing in different roles for the offense in an attempt to utilize his athleticism. Cunningham had some very nice runs last year but he really struggled as a passer throughout the year. Malik still showed the type of panic that he showed last year in the short time I got to watch him this spring. While it’s great for him to have the ability to make positive plays when nothing is open, he takes off much too quickly. Look for Malik to be on the field as a playmaker and a decoy in the Notre Dame game.
The quarterback depth is a big issue for the team as Evan Conley will be the third man up if needed. Conley has some very nice skills that will likely develop over time but he’s not the type of talent that you want to see on the field as a true freshman. I do believe, however, that Conley getting on campus for spring practice will be huge for him. He will know this offense very well if he has to play and as I pointed out above, this staff will help him with better play calls and a reliance on the running game.
Personally, I’m not very high on this group but it’s hard to ignore how the staff went about addressing the position. They saw this group up close and decided they were good to go. If they truly feel that Pass just needed a confidence boost to reach his potential, it’s hard to argue with them. I also appreciate the fact that they didn’t panic and just bring in a quarterback from JUCO or as a grad transfer even if they weren’t sure that guy would improve the group. Pass has been looked at as a leader by this staff as well as the previous staff. Bringing in a new guy could mess with the chemistry.