Wyoming’s QB’s will be under evaluation during fall camp
LARAMIE -- When Craig Bohl released his initial depth chart of the 2021 campaign back in early June, Sean Chambers was penciled in as the starting quarterback for the third straight season.
Is that still the case?
"I don't know if I'd go as far as saying it's wide open or it's an open competition -- it's a competition," said Wyoming's first-year offensive coordinator, Tim Polasek. "There's competition at every position. I think it's something we have to be very mindful of. If there were a swing, or the teeter-totter goes, we have to kind of ride the hot hand."
Bohl said he is in constant communication with Polasek concerning the quarterback spot. He reiterated that Chambers and Levi Williams were in a close battle during the spring.
Wyoming's head coach didn't call it an open competition either, but added both signal callers will be under a watchful eye during the Cowboys' 17 fall practices leading up to the season opener Sept. 4 against Montana State.
"It's close enough to where we want each guy to know that we are going to be evaluating those plays," Bohl said. "I wouldn't say it's even, but I thought Levi made really good progress in the summer and Sean looked excellent today. So, I think they are pushing one another."
Is it safe to say Chambers is the starter?
"He's in the lead right now," Bohl said. "I'm not in a position to say he's going to start."
How do the guys in question feel about the open -- or not -- competition?
"I'm not really worried on now, I'm really focused on just making myself a better quarterback," Chambers said when asked if he feels the starting job is his. "... I'm just trying to get ready for the season."
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Williams, who started five of the Cowboys' six games in an abbreviated 2020 season, said it was hard to see that first depth chart come out. Despite that, the redshirt freshman said he's prepared to make a statement during camp.
"That's just another opportunity to compete. That's what I'm going to do," Williams said. "I'm going to push and push and push. I mean, I'm gunning for that spot. That's the spot I want."
Williams completed just under 50% of his passes last season and tossed a single touchdown compared to three interceptions. The Texas native also rushed for 100 yards on 56 carries and found the end zone six times.
Chambers, who suffered a broken leg on the third play from scrimmage in 2020, is 9-3 as a starter. The redshirt sophomore has thrown 10 career touchdown passes and rushed for 12 more.
"We're about trying to elevate everybody so that everybody's being evaluated and there's competition," Polasek said. "So, I think those guys are going to go at it. It's a healthy thing for us, for them to be digging and competing against one another."
Before last season got underway, Bohl named Chambers the starter but said both quarterbacks would play.
Could that be the case again this fall?
"I think right now, I'd be a little bit more comfortable saying, 'OK, let's go in and say who our starter is and who our No. 2 is," he said. "Then we'll see how they perform in a game."
OTHER POSITION BATTLES:
What competitions should you be paying attention to this fall? With 95% of the roster from 2020 intact, there aren't many:
* Charles Hicks is atop the depth chart at outside linebacker, but Easton Gibbs is hot on his heels.
* Can Rome Weber, who opted out last season because of the coronavirus, get his strong safety spot back from super senior Braden Smith?
* Another opt out, Solomon Byrd, is looking up the depth chart at redshirt freshman DeVonne Harris. Can he get back to starting at defensive end?
Are those jobs set in stone?
"Yes, they certainly can," Wyoming's head coach said when asked if positions can be won or lost during fall camp. "You know, we take a hard look at the body of work that guys do during the spring. If there's a guy we have ahead significantly, a couple things have to happen; one, the guy that's way ahead needs to show some real flaws that we haven't seen. The guy behind them has made vast improvements over the summer.
"I think collectively as a football team, we're in a really good place right now."
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