Jeff Brohm benched Louisville’s starting quarterback. That’s a statement that is completely true and yet, the fate of the season could depend on Jack Plummer being the type of quarterback Brohm has depended on as opposed to the guy who wasn’t dependable at Purdue. Plummer has tools to work with and talent to distribute to, but if he falters, Brohm will have a tough decision to make.
Plummer comes to Louisville after a solid season at Cal last year. He completed 63% of his passes, threw for over 3,000 yards, and threw 21 touchdown passes. Those numbers won’t light the world on fire, but they are extremely impressive for a guy leading a team that didn’t win many games. The numbers have never been Plummer’s issue. The inability to lead his team to wins is.
The big question with Plummer is if he can be the type of quarterback that can win you games or is he simply a game manager that needs others to make the big plays. Plummer is likely the guy to lead this team to its expectations but Brock Domann will be the likely backup if things don’t go as planned. Domann is entering his third year as the backup and he led the team to a couple of wins last year when Malik Cunningham was out.
The third spot in the depth chart is being worked out during fall camp. From the small sample size I was able to see, I think Pierce Clarkson has the best shot to be the third guy up. Clarkson could use a developmental year where he gets live reps in the games, but he probably needs to redshirt in that scenario. Is it possible Brohm creates a package for him? It wouldn’t surprise me. But he would probably benefit from a full year to get acclimated to college and take some garbage time snaps.
Harrison Bailey and Evan Conley appear to be guys just riding a scholarship towards a coaching career but Bailey looked the part in practice. He has the size and the arm that you would expect from a former five-star but Bailey just hasn’t been able to do what is needed on the field when his number was called. My view on both players is that they will be locker room guys to help bridge things with the young guys.
Brohm brought in Brady Allen this summer after a year at Purdue. Allen is a prototype pocket guy which is what Brohm has relied on during his time as a head coach and an offensive coordinator. Allen had a rough practice when I was able to attend but the few flashes I did see showed some real promise. I think he and Clarkson will have a real battle in the spring as they will be the top options to take over the starting role next year.
Pierce Clarkson really surprised me when I saw him this fall. We got a very small sample size of him in the spring after he came back from injury and he didn’t look like the caliber of recruit that he was coming out of high school. I can say with confidence that he looked the part this fall. He made quick decisions and he made them with the type of confidence that we saw with how he carried himself as a recruit. The starter is the only player that can truly “breakout” at quarterback, but I think Clarkson could announce himself as a true talent.