Wow, what a year we have coming up in regards to the quarterbacks in college football. Texas A&M‘s Johnny Manziel returning to defend his Heisman Trophy. Alabama‘s A.J. McCarron chasing after an unprecedented third consecutive BCS National Championship. Louisville‘s Teddy Bridgewater seeking to pick up right where he left on in 2012, dazzling the nation with his skills in the Sugar Bowl. Georgia‘s Aaron Murray looking for redemption after being a mere seconds away from preventing McCarron of grabbing that second title last year.
It’s an elite group of gunslingers, no one can doubt that.
But there’s one more name that people are forgetting, that should be in that illustrious group. A senior quarterback that already has numerous records attached to his name. A quarterback who has proven that he can win under the most strenuous of situations. A quarterback that can make everyone aware of his presence by showing up one of the above-mentioned names head-to-head during the first week of the 2013 season–Ohio Bobcats QB, Tyler Tettleton.
Tettleton has been the leader for head coach Frank Solich and this Ohio program the last few years, guiding it to some of the most impressive performances in its history. So far, he’s attached 23 school records to his resume, setting 12 of them during the 2011 season alone.
While battling minor injuries in 2012, Tettleton is expected to be fully healthy and to return to his record-setting 2011 form, which saw him become the first Ohio QB to toss for over 3,000 yards.
Not only will he be healthy, but he has weapons also. Behind him will be fellow breakout player, RB Beau Blankenship. Blankenship’s exceptional running skills through the tackles, as well as his pass catching ability out of the backfield, opens it up for Tettleton to do his work comfortably.
As far as the senior’s options to throw to, he has an experienced group of wideouts at his disposal as well. Senior Donte Foster returns, and junior Landon Smith has more than impressed coaches so far, leading them to believe that he could be a hot target for Tettleton to go to down the field.
The offensive line is a bit of a concern, where the team graduated two starters from 2012. But, Tettleton’s mobility should more than compensate for that.
Walking into an extremely emotional environment last season, facing off against the Penn State Nittany Lions in their first game since their NCAA sanctions were put in place, the quarterback not only impressed, but guided his team to a 24-14 victory. Tettleton finished with 324 yards and accounted for three touchdowns. So, as far as pressure goes, that really won’t be a concern for the young man.
This year’s opening game holds bigger ramifications for the senior, however. He’ll have not only the chance to show that he is indeed back to 100%, but he’ll also get a chance to do it while outshining who some consider the 2013 preseason Heisman front-runner.
The Bobcats open this year against Teddy Bridgewater and the Louisville Cardinals. Because opening weekend is stacked with some high-profile contests, this game has been easily overlooked. Myself though, I can easily see this becoming one of the better games to open up the 2013 season–solely because of the QB battle.
If Tettleton can match Bridgewater nearly drive-for-drive, or win the game if he really wants to get outrageous, people that haven’t taken notice already of the talented Oklahoma native, will certainly know who he is then.
Could an eye-opening performance in that game put Tettleton on a fast-track to a possible Heisman invite? Maybe, maybe not.
One thing is certain though. It would undoubtedly push his name into that elite QB list mentioned in the beginning.