Nebraska Cornhuskers Position Breakdowns: Quarterback

Big Red NetworkSenior Writer IApril 23, 2008

Outlook: The Huskers find themselves in familiar territory. For the third straight year they’ll have a senior quarterback with starting experience with some young guns to develop behind him for the future.

Incumbent: Joe Ganz amassed over 1400 yards passing with 16 touchdowns to go with 93 yards rushing and 3 rushing touchdowns in about 3 and half games of work. The team went 1-2 in his three starts and he committed 7 turnovers. Project that out for a 12 game season and you get over 4500 passing yards, 50 touchdowns and 24 turnovers. So the potential exists for some big-time production and also for some erratic play. While the defense as a unit is the big variable going into next season, the play of Joe Ganz will be the key individual variable for the offense and the team overall.

Rising Star: Zac Lee is healthy and looking sharp. A dual-threat player like Ganz, he has a very strong arm. He would seem to be the favorite to win the job after Ganz graduates despite statements that Witt is the number two quarterback right now.

In-The-Mix: Patrick Witt is not nearly as mobile as Lee nor quite as strong armed, but he may win a spot based on heady play, the ability to manage games and avoid mistakes. If nothing else, he’ll keep Lee honest. If Lee doesn’t want to execute the plays the right way, Witt surely will.

Enigma: Jim Ebke is a hometown favorite and Lincoln East alum. He transferred from South Dakota State to walk on at Nebraska. The dual-threat quarterback will need to sit due to transfer rules but in many ways resembles Joe Ganz. It remains to be seen whether he’ll ever contend for playing time.

Odd Man Out?: Senior Beau Davis will likely be remembered for his hand in Nebraska’s brutal loss at Texas Tech in 2004. With Ganz, Lee, and Witt all seemingly in line to surpass Davis on the depth chart, Davis may find his best chance to play in mop up duty on senior day.

On The Horizon: Kody Spano is already on campus and will have, in effect, a two year head start on any new recruits for 2009. Like Ganz and Lee he’s a mobile quarterback, but barring injuries to the starters he really ought to redshirt. He’ll be first in line to start behind Witt and Lee, if he’s willing to wait that long.