The University of Central Oklahoma football team reported to camp this past weekend, and it was evident the team will again feature talented play from the quarterback position.
"The great thing about these kids is that they are all winners," UCO head football coach Nick Bobeck said. "The top three all won a football game for UCO last season. So you've got a great group of kids. We'll see how camp plays out."
Will Collins, Chandler Garrett and Keats Calhoon all return under center in 2019. All three had success in 2018.
A quarterback battle like UCO hasn't seen in some time, Bobeck had three strong candidates pushing for the starting job last season. Calhoon won the job in Week 1, but a Week 3 knee injury sidelined him for the rest of the season. He'll get his sophomore year back this fall and try to win the job again. Calhoon threw for over 500 yards and five touchdowns in two and a half games last season.
Garrett stepped in as a starter following Calhoon's injury and thrived, leading UCO to a win over Northwest Missouri in Week 4. But he too went down in Week 6, leaving the job to Collins for the rest of the season. Garrett also threw for over 500 yards and six touchdowns and also had over 300 yards rushing and four TDs.
Collins, who became the starter after the first two injuries, would be no consolation winner. He threw for over 1,700 yards and 14 touchdowns and led UCO to a win in the Heart of Texas Bowl. He ranked first in the MIAA in interceptions thrown (four), pass percentage (64.1), and passer efficiency (158.0). He also ranked second in yards per game with 251.3.
Casey Base also returns as a sophomore. He played one quarter of action last season, but didn't throw a pass. And newcomer Brandon George, also a sophomore, figures to be in the mix of the competition for snaps.
Depth will be a recurring theme for the UCO position breakdowns this month. Bobeck says it is one of the best qualities of his 2019 team. At quarterback, there's no question depth is a benefit for the Bronchos. Collins was third on the depth chart a year ago and threw for over 1,700 yards. Not many teams can roll out that kind of talent that deep in the lineup.
Central kicks off against Pitt State Thursday, Sept. 5 at 7 p.m. at Wantland Stadium. Tickets are on sale now. Call (405)974-2140 for purchase.