Stocking up on arms
By Greg Tepper // TexasFootball.com
It’s safe to assume that Clayton Nicholas is used to feeling like The Man.
And why not? The Abilene Cooper quarterback is one of the tip-top 5A quarterbacks in the state, which, by proxy, makes him one of the best quarterbacks in the nation. That is, after all, how it works.
In his junior season in 2010, Nicholas threw for over 3,000 yards and 30 touchdowns against just seven interceptions. His efforts led the Cougars to a District 3-5A championship and the 5A regional semifinals.
His efforts secured him a spot as one of the most highly touted quarterbacks in the class of 2012. And with his senior season still ahead of him, Nicholas decided to get the big decision out of the way.
Nicholas committed to Texas Tech on Monday, a huge get for Tommy Tuberville and the Raiders. Nicholas chose Tech over A&M and Rice, among other suitors.
So starting in 2012, Nicholas will join the ranks of the Red Raiders. You’ll have to excuse me for getting way ahead of myself -- after all, Nicholas is only still a junior -- but the quarterback race for 2012 (and beyond) in Lubbock is downright scintillating.
You have Nicholas, whom we’ve already discussed. At 6-3, 205 pounds, Nicholas has all the trademarks of a Tech quarterback: tall, rocket arm, from West Texas, a bit of a gunslinger. He’ll be a freshman, but there’s no reason to think he won’t press for the job.
You have Scotty Young, who will be a redshirt sophomore in 2011. Remember him? The guy who set the world on fire at Denton Ryan, throwing for 4,467 yards and a you-have-got-to-be-kidding-me 64 touchdowns in 2009? He’ll be there, and would be the clear-cut favorite in almost any quarterback competition save this one.
You have Jacob Karam, who will be a redshirt junior in 2011. The Friendswood product is still biding his time, waiting for his chance to prove that why he was one of the top dual-threat quarterbacks in the nation in 2009. The last time he logged major action -- his senior season in 2008 -- he threw for 3,291 yards and 38 touchdowns.
There’s Michael Brewer, who’s just now entering his freshman year after helping Lake Travis to its fourth consecutive 4A state title. You have to assume Brewer will redshirt in 2011, meaning he’ll still be in his first year of eligibility in 2012. Brewer needs to fill out -- he’s 6-1, but only 175 pounds -- but once he does, he’s a legitimate threat to win any quarterback position.
You have the dark horse, Brant Costilla, who will be in his third year of eligibility after coming out of Parish Episcopal in Dallas via Navarro Junior College. It’s easy to forget, but Costilla was one of the truly elite private school quarterbacks in the state a couple of years ago. And at 6-4, he’s got the size you want in a wide-open offense like Tech’s.
Oh, and did I forget to mention the presumed incumbent at that time, Seth Doege? Doege will be entering his final season at Tech, and if he leads the Raiders to a successful 2011, it’s hard to imagine anyone unseating him.
You have to think that Clayton Nicholas will be red shirting in 2012; with such a stable of quarterbacks, roster management is important. But with his addition to the Tech fold, the signal-caller situation in Lubbock might be the most intriguing in the state.