South Carolina Football: Dylan Thompson's Spring Performance Heats Up QB Battle
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South Carolina has a situation rarely seen before in the ranks of college football: They have two experienced, talented quarterbacks who could claim the title of starting QB.
Senior Connor Shaw has yet to practice this spring due to a foot injury that required surgery and may not return until June. Luckily, the Gamecocks have redshirt junior Dylan Thompson, who is more than capable of taking over the starting duties.
So far this spring, Thompson is continuing to impress the coaching staff, and his performance is heating up the QB battle with Shaw.
Head coach Steve Spurrier knows that Thompson is best suited to run a pro-style offense since he is more of a pocket passer than Shaw. Thompson has the strong arm and football intelligence needed to be highly successful as the team's starting QB.
Every time Shaw has been unable to play, Thompson steps up to the challenge and helps his team to victory.
Spurrier seems to be comfortable with platooning his quarterbacks, meaning that both Shaw and Thompson will have large roles in the offense. By platooning, Spurrier will most likely utilize Shaw for zone-read, shotgun sets whereas Thompson is for under-center, pro-style formations.
Who will be the Gamecocks' starting quarterback in 2013?
Right now, the talks of platooning his quarterbacks are gaining attention because Thompson is playing excellent spring football.
In spring practices, Thompson has the command of his teammates, is on the mark with his passing accuracy and looks very poised as the main quarterback right now.
Thompson's strong spring practices led to a good performance in Saturday's spring game.
Thompson did get off to a slow start after he threw a ball that floated over the middle and was intercepted by free safety Chaz Elder. Elder's closing speed on the deep ball may have been underestimated by Thompson, leading to the pick.
After the interception, Thompson settled in and led a solid drive, capped off by a touchdown pass to wide receiver Shaq Roland. Thompson finished the spring game strong, which showed his resiliency to recover from a rough start.
Throughout the spring and dating back to Thompson's playing time in 2012, he has maintained consistency, which is amazing to see from a player who has yet to be a full-time starter.
But the Gamecocks have yet to see what condition Shaw is in and how he compares to Thompson as the 2013 season approaches.
The quarterback battle will continue to heat up as Thompson keeps his form and Shaw returns to practice in summer workouts.
South Carolina finds themselves in a rare situation where they have two quarterbacks who are more than capable of leading this team to its goals of an SEC title and BCS National Championship.
Only time will tell what the final quarterbacking decision is for the start of the 2013 season, though Thompson's impressive spring is without a doubt heating up the QB battle for the Gamecocks.
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