It’s the million-dollar question floating around the Louisiana Tech fan base as the start of the 2021 season gets closer and closer.
Who will be the Bulldogs starting QB when Tech opens Sept. 4 at Mississippi State. Kickoff is set for 2:30 p.m. on ESPNU.
According to Tech head coach Skip Holtz – who is playing it close to the vest when it comes to announcing a starter – the QB room in the Davison Athletics Complex has plenty of options.
Aaron Allen. Luke Anthony. JD Head. Austin Kendall. Caleb Holstein.
It’s a starting five on a basketball court. But only one of them can take the field for the first snap in less than two weeks.
“All of the quarterbacks have rolled with ones,” said Holtz following Thursday’s practice session. “All of them have rolled with the twos and all of them have rolled with the threes.”
One thing is for sure. It won’t be Anthony, who is still recovering from off-season surgery following a gruesome injury at TCU last December. No definitive timetable has been set for Anthony’s return to the field, but the reigning Conference USA Newcomer of the Year will add valuable experience when he does.
Allen and Head both saw action in the New Orleans Bowl setback against Georgia Southern in mid-December and are a year older and that much further along. Allen made two starts in 2020, including the postseason bowl, and completed 73-of-121 passes for 602 yards and four scores.
“The quarterback competition has been really good so far,” Allen said. “We come out every day and compete and critique each other on what everybody needs to work on. It’s been going really good so far.”
Head saw his only action of the year coming off the bench in the New Orleans Bowl, where he was 9-of-14 for 78 yards.
“This fall camp has been awesome,” Head said. “All the quarterbacks have been battling it out and really competing. Not only competing, but also helping each other. We all want to see each other doing really good. I can’t complain about anything. I’m having a great time with the guys and having a great fall camp experience
“Aaron and JD have both done a great job and both had good camps,” said Holtz. “We’ve got three quarterbacks we could play with right now. We’re just going to have to make a decision as we come out of Saturday on who the starter is going to be and start to put the depth chart together.”
Kendall has received the most buzz from Tech fans after signing late this summer. The former Oklahoma and West Virginia signal caller should see time this year, even if he isn’t the opening day starter.
“You have a new quarterback in Austin Kendall who is learning the system,” said Holtz. “He’s done an excellent job with the short amount of time he’s had. Certainly, the newness sometimes shows up like, ‘Oh, I have to turn the other way’ and little mistakes. He has a lot of thinking going on. If Austin’s the guy, we’ll have to build the offense around him a little bit with him being here a short time.”
Kendall, a native of Waxhaw, N.C, played at Oklahoma for three seasons before transferring to West Virginia the past two campaigns.
“Fall camp has been good,” Kendall said. “We have a good group of quarterbacks with Aaron, JD and Caleb. Then Luke Anthony, I really appreciate him. He’s helped me a long way as far as learning the offense and certain reads because he’s been in the system for a year-and-a-half now. He’s been a lot of help to me as well as coach Sloan and the rest of the quarterbacks.”
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