The Memphis Tigers are making the move to the Big East in 2013 and they’ve opened up the quarterback competition this spring before getting there. Senior Jacob Karam returns after starting 12 games in 2012, but head coach Justin Fuente isn’t ready to just hand the job back to him for next fall. As the quarterback derby runs into fall camp, will Karam be able to hold onto the job?
Karam enjoyed a bit of success in 2012 during his 12 starts. He completed 64.2 percent of his passes for 1,895 yards with 14 touchdowns and just three interceptions. But Memphis finished just 4-8 last season and the offense failed to put up the kind of points they needed to be successful, averaging 24.4 points per game, good for No. 88 in college football.
That ineffectiveness has led to Fuente looking at all his options under center for next season. Karam’s biggest competition for the starter’s job is redshirt freshman Paxton Lynch. The 6-foot-6, 225-pound youngster has all the tools to be a success in Fuente’s pro-style offense with his height and strong arm that has many predicting a bright future for him with the Tigers. How well he does this spring could determine just how soon that “future” begins.
The experience factor is on the side of Karam, who has 18 starts under his belt over his career. In addition to the 12 games he started last season, he started six games with the Texas Tech Red Raiders before transferring. He will have to lean on that experience to hold off the talented young Lynch for his senior season.
Does he have the playmaking ability to hold down the No. 1 QB job for Memphis in 2013?