Column: Set the circus down and name a starting quarterback
Colorado State football had an embarrassing start to the season. The Rams were outplayed in nearly all of the first 20 quarters of play and after losing to an FCS opponent at home last weekend, this team is facing a difficult situation.
K.J. Carta-Samuels was unsurprisingly named the starter to begin the year, but Collin Hill has always been breathing down his neck. And after taking over the quarterbacking duties in the fourth quarter of the loss to Illinois State, Hill has been given the opportunity to run with the ones with week in practice.
According to head coach Mike Bobo, there is open competition at every position on the field, and that includes quarterback. As of Wednesday afternoon, Bobo was not ready to definitively say whether Hill would get the start against San Jose State on Oct. 6. Considering the team is on a bye this Saturday, Bobo may even wait until next week to name who will be under center.
While Carta-Samuels has looked impressive at times this season, the harsh reality is nobody in the locker room expected this team to start 1-4. So, while the Washington graduate transfer has gotten somewhat of a raw deal, it is tough to fault the coaching staff for trying to create a spark.
Assuming he stays healthy, Hill is going to be competing with Nebraska transfer Patrick O’Brien for the starting gig in 2019. And looking at a remaining 2018 schedule that includes Air Force, Boise State, Utah State and Wyoming, logically it makes sense to prepare to the QB of the future, especially if he is at 100 percent.
Earlier this year, Mike Bobo said he would not be willing to jeopardize Hill’s career by rushing him back too soon. Considering Hill has now played in multiple games and is running with the ones in practice this week, I am under the impression that Hill is good to go.
If Hill really is ready to be the starter though, then officially hand him the reins and do not turn back. The current quarterback carousel is detrimental to the success of both players, and makes it nearly impossible for either of them to ever get in a rhythm.
Open competition is good, and makes sense given the 1-4 start to the season. However, if CSU is going to move forward, the offense needs to figure out who the leader is going to be.
We have seen Bobo rotate between quarterbacks multiple times in the past and the offense never starts to thrive until one player solidifies himself as the starter. Whether that guy is Carta-Samuels or Hill, a firm decision needs to be made if the Rams want to avoid being viewed as the laughing stock of the Mountain West. And if CSU loses to SJSU next weekend, they will be exactly that.