A competition for a position on a football field is a very delicate thing. First of all, you have two young men trying to 'politely' tell the other person, "You're not as good as I am," which for many 18-22 year olds could be a very difficult statement to swallow, especially if you're thinking the same thing. One player's ego will be hurt and cause him to work that much harder to fight for the spot he believes he deserves. The other will relic in victory, only for a minute, then continue to work for the starting job they earned.
Finding balance between professional matters and personal matters can be tough when egos and leadership qualities are involved. There might not be a position in sports that brings out those two things more than quarterback. The ball is in their hands, the game, essentially, is in their hands. The 2011 Ohio football team could be seeing a very interesting competition arise between QBs Phil Bates and Tyler Tettleton for next season's starting position.
It was nearly set in stone that Phil Bates was going to be the starting quarterback for the Ohio Bobcats in 2011, but nearly isn't quite good enough. Bates split time last year with Boo Jackson, but it didn't take long for the transfer from Iowa State to showcase his athleticism. He was second on the team in rushing with 554 yards on 78 carries, averaging just over 6.5 yards per carry.
The glaring red flag with Bates was his arm. Sure, he had the strength, but he struggled throughout the year to be consistent with his passes. His inconsistency showed in how much the coaches let Bates put the ball in the air. The QB completed only nine of his 23 passes in 2010 and also threw three interceptions. Add in that Bates did not practice most of the spring with the green and white due to an injury and there's a lot of issues that could lead to some uncertainty.
A Not So Surprising Challenger
Enter Tyler Tettleton. As a true freshman in 2009, Tettleton played in four games for the Bobcats, but didn't impress. Oddly enough, in those four games, Tettleton went nine of 23 and threw two interceptions. In 2010, with Jackson and Bates both healthy and ready to go, the coaching staff decided to redshirt the Norman,
Oklahoma native, giving him a year to grow both physically and mentally within the Ohio offense.
Whatever was in his Kool-Aid must have worked, because this spring Tettleton has showcased his skills in the Bobcat's new no-huddle offense and is running the team like a well oiled machine. In the spring game, Tettleton went 11 of 21 for 151 yards and two TDs, proving that he is ready to man the helm for Ohio.
How Does it End?
This is one of those stories that just doesn't have an ending quite yet. Within the next couple of months Ohio fans will know which direction coach Solich decides to go. If he thinks the offense needs more of a spark plug, Bates the clear choice because of his athleticism and big play ability on almost any play. But if he wants consistency from the pocket and the potential to methodically move the ball down the field then Tettleton is his guy. Football season is closer than you think and, in my opinion, it can't get here fast enough.