STATESBORO, Ga. (WSAV) – The quarterbacks stood out from the crowd at the first day of Georgia Southern training camp, decked out in gold jerseys, although they doubtlessly would’ve drawn attention even without them.
Earlier in the week, Eagles head coach Chad Lunsford revealed that presumptive week one starter Justin Tomlin would miss the first two games of the season due to academic eligibility issues, leaving the starting quarterback competition wide open.
Tomlin threw alongside redshirt freshman Sam Kenerson and true freshman Cam Ransom, who made his first appearance in the blue and white.
“My focus has been learning the plays and trying to get with the system,” Ransom said. “I’m coming from a spread offense and we’re a running team. I’m not gonna say its been tough, but a little different from what I did in high school.”
“What I will say about him is that he’s very coachable,” Lunsford added. “When we say ‘here’s how we do that, here’s how we do this, OK, now don’t worry about locking in we’re having fun,’ he gets it and you don’t have tell him more than once.”
The quarterback competition may also include a name that did not appear on much of anyone’s radar: running back Amare Jones. The Tulane transfer played quarterback in high school and Lunsford said that he’s in the mix to start Week One against Gardner-Webb.
“You never know, Amare may start getting a whole lot of reps at quarterback and he may end up being the QB,” Lunsford said.
Jones took snaps from center several times during the part of training camp that is open to the media, but was used primarily in a “Wildcat” role instead of actually dropping back to pass. He did not wear the same gold jerseys as the rest of the quarterbacks.
Tomlin told the media that his academic ineligibility for the first two games was due to his grade point average briefly dropping below a 2.0. Although Tomlin is now a student in good standing, the redshirt junior’s chances at securing the full-time starting job are definitely not as good as they otherwise would’ve been. However, Tomlin says that he will fully support whomever wins the QB competition.
“I put myself in this position of not being able to play the first two weeks. I can’t be mad at the next guy. I’m gonna support the team no matter what.”
Lunsford said that he wanted to see the team go through both of its scheduled scrimmages before making a preliminary decision on a starter. The first of those scrimmages is on the calendar for Aug. 14 and the second is on Aug. 21.