By Ryan Hope
Junior Bret Engemann is the No. 1 quarterback for the BYU Cougars.
Head coach Gary Crowton made the announcement before Monday”s practice, ending a week of competition and speculation.
“Bret”s our man,” Crowton said. “I like the experience Bret has and the other guys don”t have that much experience.”
Engemann has shared playing time through the first four games of the season with freshman option specialist Lance Pendleton.
“I want this team to win and be successful now,” Crowton said. “But I still want us to grow and be successful in the future.”
Crowton opened up the position to competition following the Cougars” loss to Georgia Tech on September 21 and has been very impressed with all of his quarterbacks.
“Pendleton is getting a lot better,” Crowton said. “I was also very impressed with [freshman] Matt Berry and [freshman] Ben Olson in last week”s practices, but they haven”t done it in a game.”
Crowton would like Engemann to take most of the snaps for the Cougars but also indicated he would like to develop some reserves.
“I do want to find time to get Ben and Matt into the game,” Crowton said. “Those are the two guys who I have not seen play, and you just don”t know how they”re going to be until they get into a game.”
Crowton will continue to use Pendleton in spot situations to give opposing defenses a different look.
Sophomore Todd Mortensen who has been listed second on the depth chart may also see some playing time.
“First of all I just want to win the game,” Crowton said. “But I am going to look for more opportunities to get other guys in the game.”
Olson, who was considered by many recruiting experts to be the top high school quarterback in 2001, was expected to redshirt this season.
Olson has not made a decision on whether he will serve a mission next year, so Crowton is hesitant about pulling the redshirt off him.
“I recommend missions to everybody,” Crowton said. “I recommend them because I had such a great experience on my mission.”
Whether Olson goes on a mission or not will not affect Crowton in his decision about whether he will play.
“I got to think about right now,” Crowton said. “And we got to win right now.”
During the past week Crowton has given all of his quarterbacks opportunities to practice with the first team in preparation for possible playing time.
“I”m just preparing myself as if I”m going to play,” Olson said. “I”ve talked with Coach about all the different scenarios and I”m fine with playing this year.”
If Olson does play this season and decides to go on a mission he may redshirt upon his return.
Crowton indicated it takes time to get back into playing shape following a mission, as seen in Matt Berry.
Berry returned from a mission to Panama in December.