When head coach Jeff Monken came to Georgia Southern in the spring of 2010, he didn’t even have a quarterback.
That fall, he had a transfer, Jaybo Shaw, and a pair of true freshmen in Jerick McKinnon and Ezayi Youyoute.
Now, entering his fourth year, Monken has recruited the position to the point where it’s overflowing with talent.
“It’s good to have some guys that we feel comfortable at that position,” Monken said. “Especially guys we know are going to grow.”
The position is so full that the starter at the beginning of the 2012 season, Youyoute, has moved to slotback. McKinnon, now a senior, is a preseason favorite to win the Walter Payton Award.
McKinnon is backed up by a pair of players — Kevin Ellison and Vegas Harley, both redshirt freshmen — who took all the snaps at the position last spring as McKinnon sat out with a broken wrist.
“Vegas and Kevin got a lot of reps in the spring,” quarterbacks coach Mitch Ware said. “They were the only two guys and they split every rep. It was a good situation. If you were them, that’s the way you want it.”
Monken has an idea of who will be McKinnon’s backup, though there’s still three weeks until the start of the season.
“Right now, as it stands, if we sorted them out, it would be Jerick and Kevin Ellison,” Monken said about the top two spots on the depth chart.
Throw in two new faces, true freshman Alfred “LA” Ramsby and Favian Upshaw, a redshirt freshman who transferred to GSU from Florida International after a coaching change, and all of a sudden, the position goes five deep.
If Youyoute and safety Matt Dobson, who also came into the program as a quarterback, are any indication, all five of those guys won’t remain at the quarterback position.
“That group is so talented that whoever isn’t in the top three, we’re probably going to have to find another place for them to play, just so we can get them on the field,” Monken said.
Though it’s far too early to speculate on the future, Rambsy has been perhaps the most impressive recruit at any position through the first five days of fall camp.
“LA has probably impressed us as much as anybody in that class. I think he has a chance to be special, and he might throw the ball the best out of the whole group,” Monken said. “He’s built more stocky, kind of like Jerick, and that’s uncommon. You don’t usually see the stockier guys who can really wing it like he can.”