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No controversy here; Shaw leading GSU QBs

No controversy here; Shaw leading GSU QBs

No controversy here; Shaw leading GSU QBs

Jaybo Shaw, junior transfer from Geor...

            Quarterback battles are always a lot of fun -- Trey Hunter or Chaz Williams? Jayson Foster or Travis Clark? Antonio Henton or Lee Chapple? -- but seemingly for the first time since Foster headed up Georgia Southern’s triple-option offense in 2005 as a sophomore, there isn’t a question about whose job it is to lose.

            Junior Jaybo Shaw transferred to GSU from Georgia Tech over the summer and, of the four QBs in the practice rotation, is the only one to have taken snaps in this offense in a college football game. He ran the offense at Tech and back in high school at Flowery Branch.

            Junior-college transfer Jawaun Luckey, a senior, is the only one from spring camp still playing QB for the Eagles, and the other two, Ezayi Youyoute and Jerick McKinnon, are true freshman.

            “They’ve got all the talent in the world,” Shaw said of Youyoute and McKinnon. “They are two athletic quarterbacks, they’re soaking up as much information as they can, and they’re getting a lot of stuff thrown at them. I’m trying to help them out too, because I remember I was there one day.”

            “We’re always happy to have new people come into our team,” added Luckey. “I’m proud to be a part of this team, and everything is just a team effort. It’s not a battle, we’re just all working hard with Eagle pride, and that’s what we’re going to do.”

            Shaw is a leader by example on the practice field, even for Youyoute, who ran the same offense in high school at Hardee County in Wauchula, Fla.

            “I’m happy to be here just to learn,” Youyoute said. “To be under Jaybo and learn from his process, it’s wonderful. I love it.”

            “All the quarterbacks are pretty much new to it except for Jaybo,” said McKinnon, “but we’re coming out here and working hard every day.”

            Shaw’s lead-by-example attitude is an asset during practice, as the other three quarterbacks have the opportunity to learn from his execution of the drills.

            “Jaybo’s just out here fighting and trying to be the starting quarterback and rally the troops,” said first-year GSU coach Jeff Monken. “At the appropriate times, he’ll help those guys and coach those guys, but I think he knows what his job is right now -- to try to be the starting quarterback and do the best job he can.”

            Although the team won’t practice in full pads until Friday, Youyoute already has noticed how different college football is from his high school days as an option quarterback.

            “Let me tell you, our defense gets after it,” he said. “Our defense really gets after it. They go fast, and they go hard. Our defensive coaching staff pushes them, and they hit hard. It’s really fast.”

            The two freshmen have proven to be quick learners, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have a long way to go.

            “You can tell they were leaders in high school,” said QB coach Mitch Ware. “We knew that when we recruited them, and that’s one of the reasons we did. They bring a lot of that to the table, but it’s hard to be a leader when you’re still trying to figure out which way to turn from the center. They’re going to make their share of mistakes, and their plate’s full with what they’re doing.”

            Wednesday’s practice was a good day for the pair of freshmen.

            “I’m pleased just from the standpoint that neither one of them dropped a snap today,” said Monken. “That was encouraging, because there’s a lot of stuff going on when the ball gets snapped, and they’ve got to make reads and all that kind of stuff, so for a new guy that’s not easy. They didn’t drop a snap, and let me tell you, that’s a big deal for us.”

NOTES: Freshmen wide receiver Lester Green of Turner County joined the Eagles at Wednesday’s practice. … The Eagles will return to today’s practice session in shells before suiting up in full pads for the first time Friday at 2:45 p.m.


            Matt Yogus can be reached at (912) 489-9408.


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