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Published: Tuesday, 7/22/2008

Quarterback battle might not make its way to fall camp

Anything can happen between now and Aug. 30, but it is looking more and more like Tyler Sheehan will be your starting quarterback when BGSU visits Pittsburgh in the season opener.

This isn t exactly breaking news, as Sheehan was very good last year on a team that made a bowl game. But with the addition of JC quarterback Andrew Beam, some speculated that there could be a battle in fall camp. And by some, I mean members of the coaching staff. But the head guy, Gregg Brandon, had this to say when we spoke this morning.

It would be ideal if Andrew and Tyler are competing in the fall and Tyler s our starting quarterback, Brandon said. With Andrew, the thing is you need a capable backup.

The good news is Beam looks like a capable backup. The bad news is he better be because redshirt freshman quarterback Nate Brown has been dismissed from the program due to academic reasons. You ll remember that Brown was held out of spring practice for the same reason. This is a blow as Brown had solid upside. He reminded me of Rick Vaughn (Chuck Sheen) in Major League --- big-time arm, but where the ball ended up was anyone s guess. I m confident Brown could have improved his accuracy had he improved his grades.

This leaves BG with three scholarship quarterbacks in Sheehan, Beam and true frosh Aaron Pankratz. I would assume the plan is to redshirt Pankratz, but this is obviously no longer a certainty as he s one play away from being the back-up. Also on the roster are walk-ons Tony Hunter and Ohio Mr. Football Bart Tanski. It s great that BG was able to convince Tanski to walk-on the team, but he didn t receive any Division I scholarship offers for a reason. He has a lot to prove.

In other news, Brandon raved about the progress running back Eric Ransom has made in recovering from a torn ACL. If you recall from my season preview, I assumed Ransom would not be a critical component to this year s team. That was obviously careless on my part. If healthy and up to speed, Ransom might be the best back on the roster.

Speaking of ACL s (and I just cringe every time I hear those three letters) defensive tackle Nick Davis is hoping to be back for the start of camp. If you recall, Davis took a cheap shot from a Western Kentucky player that ended his season. According to the paper that covers WKU, Brandon was livid about some questionable sportsmanship displayed by the Hilltoppers and he let their coach know it in an e-mail. In a stroke of irony, the WKU basketball team stayed at the same hotel as BG during the GMAC Bowl. I met Davis sister at the hotel bar (Iced tea, I swear.) and I suggested she pull a nasty prank to exact revenge for her brother s knee injury. While we re here, have you seen WKU s non conference schedule? Road games at Indiana, Alabama, Kentucky and Virginia Tech, and a home contest against Ball State. That is brutal for a team that has not yet earned Division I status.

Lastly, home invaders Orlando Barrow and Jacob Hardwick have been dismissed from the team (it was previously an interim suspension) as has defensive back Tarell Lewis.

Read more in Wednesday s Blade.



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