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GSU quarterback battle rages on during spring
Dexter Williams
Transfer Dexter Williams II is one of the front-runners for the Georgia Southern Eagles starting quarterback job. Scott Bryant/Statesboro Herald

By Josh Aubrey, Statesboro Herald.

STATESBORO - One of the biggest questions Georgia Southern football fans have this spring is who will be the starting quarterback.

There are three candidates separating themselves from the pack, but none of them look senior transfer Dexter Williams from Indiana, last year’s backup sophomore J.C. French, and redshirt sophomore David Dallas, who is healthy for the first time since being an Eagle - are putting any distance between the others.

“They have continued to take turns at standing out,” said head coach Clay Helton. “Three days ago, I thought Dex had an unbelievable practice. Last Tuesday David Dallas just lit the world on fire. Today I was impressed by what J.C. was able to do.”

Helton also pointed to newcomer Tyler Budge making plays. While having each player have some moments of shining is nice, what Helton is looking for is more stability practice to practice. He has met with the quarterbacks to stress the importance of consistency.

“We need them to make the right decisions time after time and being able to get the ball out in a timely and decisive manner, as well as being accurate,” he said. “We need someone to do that over the next 30 practices to establish some separation, because there is not a lot of separation in that room.”

While separation is the goal for Helton, right now the three who are battling seem to be as close off the field as they are on it.

“I feel like there are really talented guys out here and we are all pushing each other while staying close off the field,” French said. “I am just trying to approach each day to get better because I am aware of what these other guys can do. Even though we are close, it is a business at the end of the day and you don’t take things personal.”

Whoever winds up as starter will be the third different starting quarterback in Helton’s first three years at Southern. The past two years, the transfer quarterback who came to Georgia Southern after starting at a D-l school hasn’t really had to fight for the starting job. For Williams, he knows it’s a battle and he isn’t going to be handed anything.

“I see so much talent in the quarterback room,” Williams said. “I have seen everyone make big-time throws at big-time moments. At the end of the day, the goal is to make this team a better team with whoever is behind the center. Walking that thin line between competing and being friends with the other guys is very easy. As a competitor, we all want to start, but no one is pulling against each other.”

For redshirt sophomore Dallas, this marks the first spring practice he has had a chance to compete after injuries sidelined him in his first two years. Dallas is hoping to make a good impression and is even more excited to be back on the field.

“I have been off the field for two years and have really fought hard to get back,” he said. “It’s been a tough fight, but the process of getting back has been incredible and makes it mean even more to me. We have some unbelievable talent in that room. Those are my best friends and I believe iron sharpens iron. I am going to come out every day and be the best I can be and whoever ends up as the starter I feel confident we will all be very supportive."

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