By ERIK R. RASMUSSEN
Come football season BYU becomes Quarterback U.
Wilson, McMahon, Young, Detmer. Legendary names in Cougar football. But how about Shoemaker and Feterik?
Paul Shoemaker, 6 feet tall, 200 pounds, 23, a junior from Longmont Colo. majoring in management, and Kevin Feterik, 6 feet tall, 190 pounds, a sophomore from Los Alamitos, Calif., are the two players that LaVell Edwards has pegged to lead his offense.
Both are of the same build, have similar mobility, and possess little experience running the Cougars in a game situation. But in a high flying program like BYU, a lack of talent at quarterback is rarely a problem.
“Both have the arm strength and throw well,” Edwards said. “Either one could run the offense.”
The problem is in a normal game of college football only one quarterback is on the field at a time.
For all of fall training camp, and into the week before the home opener against Washington, the two competed for the starting job. Not until four days before the game did Edwards name Shoemaker as the starter.
“A lot of it was a gut feeling,” Edwards said. “[Shoemaker]’s been around a lot. And Kevin took the news well.”
What is an opportunity lost for Feterik is a boon for the Cougar offense. Both took the same number of snaps in practice, often switching off every other play. Both know the offense in the way a first string player should, and thus if Shoemaker goes down, Feterik will be there to pick up the team and lead on.
On a team that is so deep at quarterback it’s scary, even the third man in line, freshman Drew Miller, has the skills to be a starter. But until Shoemaker has a few games under his belt, the offense will have to count on placing a good part of the load on the running backs.
“We’ll see what the coaches have planned, but since we’ve got inexperienced quarterbacks we’ll depend on Brian [McKenzie] and Kalani [Sitake],” Feterik said. “Overall we have real good team unity, so we should do well.”
The timing between the wide receivers and quarterback is a crucial aspect of a successful air attack, and is something the Cougars have practiced to proficiency.
“They look pretty good. As far as receiving and throwing the ball we’re a lot further along passing the ball this year than we were last year at this time,” offensive lineman Eric Bateman said of the passing game. “The potential is there, hopefully it’ll gel by Washington. It usually takes a little while to get going.”