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Hatcher mum on starting QB
Hatcher Webl COL
Georgia Southern head coach Chris Hatcher talks to players at practice earlier this month.
    Some football coaches favor having a clear-cut No. 1 quarterback, opting for one full-time guy to get a good feel for the team, the game and its timing. Georgia Southern’s Chris Hatcher isn’t one of them.
    “That’s other people — that’s not Chris Hatcher,” the first-year Eagle coach said following Monday afternoon’s practice.
    With less than two weeks remaining until GSU’s Sept. 8 season opener with West Georgia, the most visible position on the field remains unclear. Last year’s starter, junior Travis Clark was relegated to practicing with the second team early last week while senior Jayson Foster has been promoted to working with first stringers. Hatcher insists there is no depth chart.
    The starting job won’t be decided — or, at least, announced — until next Thursday, two days before the Wolves come to Paulson Stadium. As of Monday, Hatcher said he hasn’t given any thought to going with a two-quarterback system.
    “We are going to play to win,” he said. “If that means play two quarterbacks, we’ll play two. If that means play three, we are going to play three. If it means to play one, we are going to play one. Everything that we do is to win ball games. If whatever that combination or one person it is, that’s what we are going to do.”
    Clark and Foster are very different with Clark being more of a drop-back, strong-armed passer while Foster’s most dangerous weapon is his mobility and speed. Though Clark started all 11 games in 2006, Foster occasionally saw time behind center. Switching between the two was intended to confuse defenders but never produced the desired effect because coaches predictably called passing plays when Clark was in the game and stuck with running the ball during Foster’s drives.
    Foster, who was very successful directing the team’s former triple option offense as a sophomore in 2005, didn’t appear to be a candidate for the starting quarterback job this spring. He worked out mostly at a receiver and running back but filled in for suspended third-string signal caller Jeremiah Enloe shortly before the Blue-White game. At the time, Hatcher said there was nothing to Foster being at QB and it was just for fun.
    The Eagles changed directions this summer after Foster told Hatcher he wanted a shot at his former position. Heading into fall camp, Hatcher said he was looking for the role where Foster would be most successful.
    “You can’t fall into the trap of letting him play all three positions — running back, quarterback and receiver,” Hatcher said. “We have to figure out where he can help the team the most, and help him become a technician at that position.”
    Apparently, that role is at quarterback where Foster has spent the majority of his time in the last month.
    Whether or not Foster or Clark — or both — will be the go-to guy this season is fuzzy, but Hatcher said he’s not opposed to a two-quarterback system and has played three in the same game before. He doesn’t know yet whether or not he’ll play them both this fall.
    “To me, QB is no different than any other position,” he said. “We play multiple receivers, multiple running backs, we’ll rotate our line in there, we’ll play two or three groups on defense. Whatever we feel like is going to give us the best chance to win, that’s what we are going to do every Saturday.”