Heading into fall camp, one of the big questions surrounding the Tulane football program was who will be the starting quarterback for the season opener against Wake Forest?
The Green Wave appeared to be set for the next two years after Tanner Lee played in 19 games over the past two seasons, but the upcoming junior decided to transfer after Willie Fritz was hired to be the new head coach. He cited the option style attack as a primary reason, and moved on to Nebraska.
This left a pretty big gap for Fritz to fill in his first season, with three quarterbacks who have never thrown a pass in a collegiate game. Those three are: sophomore Glen Cuiellette, freshman Johnathan Brantley, and freshman Darius Bradwell. Cuiellette had the inside track due to his "experience", and it was announced last week that he would be the starter.
Fritz did say that two quarterbacks would play in the game (in a similar manner to what Wake is doing with Wolford and Hinton), but had some interesting things to say over the weekend:
It sounds like there could be as many as three quarterbacks in there at a time for the Green Wave, despite Fritz stating that there would only be two to play last week. This will likely result in some timing woes and inconsistencies throughout the game for Tulane, but it can also be a bit of an advantage, as Wake Forest is already in the dark as far as what to expect overall from the offense, but now needs to prepare for as many as three different quarterbacks.
My guess at this point would be that Wake Forest is focusing solely on their own defense an gap discipline at each position, and let the game come to them on Thursday night.
Cuiellette was rated a three star by ESPN, Rivals, and 247Sports, and a two star quarterback by Scout. Fritz believes that he is the most balanced of the three quarterbacks, and is better in the pocket.
"He’s a good enough athlete to do it, but the thing I have to remind him from time to time is to run full speed," Fritz said. "In an option attack, the quicker you get out there to that pitch key, the bigger an opportunity for a big play. I have to remind him the ball doesn’t weigh 20 pounds, so get out there. But, he’s got good enough athletic ability to do that for us."
In breaking down how many snaps the backup would get, and when he would get them, Fritz stated:
Fritz said he couldn’t pinpoint exactly how many possessions he would switch quarterbacks for, but doesn’t intend to swap signal-callers from play-to-play, preferring whichever quarterback starts a drive also finishes it. In his tenure at Georgia Southern, Fritz said he used the first drive of the second and fourth quarters in the first few games as opportunity to change quarterbacks and then gauged playing time throughout the season.
Both of those quotes came from an article by Scott Kushner at The Advocate.
Based on the conglomeration of information that I could find on the quarterback position down in New Orleans, it sounds like Cuiellette is the main man, but there could be a few different packages for the other two if the situation calls for it.
Fans (and the Wake Forest defense alike) should be prepared to see the second quarterback at the start of the second and fourth quarters. Those could be big swing plays, as a freshman will be taking his first snap in a college uniform.
If anything changes on this matter then we will update as we see the information!