In case you missed it, C-J UK Blogger Chris Diggs points us to Mark Story’s end-of-year assessment of the Kentucky football quarterback position. According to Papa Brooks, Hartline is the starter going into spring practice:
“Even if he is not primarily a quarterback,” the coach said of Cobb, “he would still take some snaps from center in our version of the Wildcat offense.”
Next month, UK is expecting to sign two highly touted high school quarterbacks, Indiana Mr. Football Morgan Newton and Texas standout Ryan Mossakowski.
It is uncertain whether Mossakowski, coming off surgery for a severe shoulder injury, will be ready to play this coming fall.
Brooks said that “any new players at the position will have to compete with and try to beat out Mike Hartline in the fall.”
Story goes on to speculate that, if Mossakowski isn’t fully recovered and is redshirted, Newton would end up seeing a series or two in the second quarter of games. He also shows that Hartline’s stats were very similar to Andre’ Woodson’s first-year stats.
If Hartline wants to continue to emulate Woodson’s rise and the comparisons, I hope Hartline takes this offseason as serious as Woodson took his junior season. If I recall correctly, the 2005-06 season started with some questions at quarterback, with Woodson being the expected (but shakey) starter, and Curtis Pulley being the dynamic (but undisciplined) backup. Woodson spent the summer working out and working on his skills. During his Junior year, he started to reap the benefits of his hard work, as he developed into one of the top quarterbacks in the NCAA’s.
(I can’t find the old news links that detailed Woodson’s rise, so I may have missed something. If I’m wrong, let me have it in the comments.)
I hope one of the UK coaches gets Andre to call Mike. Maybe Andre can tell Mike what he had to do — mentally and physically — to make that next jump. Then, having a super-experienced Hartline versus the fully-healed Mossakowski would be the kind of QB battle that is great for Kentucky.