Quarterback competition underway as Troy’s fall practice cranks up

Published 8:39 pm Thursday, July 31, 2014

Players and coaches had August 31 circled on their calendars since May, and finally the first day of fall practice came.

The 2014 Troy Trojans opened fall camp with a two-and-half-hour session in shorts and helmets Thursday morning at the practice fields adjacent to Veterans Memorial Stadium. The team worked mostly on individual group drills, but the final portion of the opening day was spent working full team offense against defense.

Troy head coach Larry Blakeney say a lot of positives from the first day of organized practice.

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“It looked like the guys were ready to go on day one,” head coach Larry Blakeney said. “The coaches and players were all working hard and it made for a good looking practice. Of course, it’s easier to see offensive guys make plays because that’s what they’re supposed to do, but I saw some good things from all phases of the game.”

The biggest question mark facing the Trojans in 2014 is who will emerge from a talented, yet unproven, group of quarterbacks to replace four-year starter Corey Robinson. Brandon Silvers ended the spring as the No. 1 man in the rotation, but all four signal callers – Silvers, Dallas Tidwell, Connor Bravard and Dontreal Pruitt – got quality snaps Thursday.

Blakeney said the first few days of practice will be spent evaluating the four quarterbacks, and a gradual shift towards one or two particular players will take place “about a week or 10 days” in to camp.

Offensive coordinator Kenny Edendfield feels the quarterback race will settle itself out on its own.

“We will all know who the quarterbacks are,” Edenfield said. “That is usually the way it works out. If I have to make a decision, I will do that, but it normally works out. If you are at practice, you will be able to see who is doing good and see who it is.”

Troy averaged 30.3 points per game during Robinson’s tenure in cardinal and black. And while quarterbacks get praised for putting the ball in the end zone, Edenfield said that is not the most important thing a quarterback does.

“First of all he is going to be a guy that helps us protect the football,” Edenfield said. “We have to protect the football, and we have been preaching that. We got a lot better at it last year than we have ever been. He has to score points, and he has to be a guy that can respond to bad things positively and play the next play.”


Tidwell is the only Troy quarterback with game experience, having completed 12 of 19 career passes with a couple of touchdowns. Silvers, the leader of the pack following spring practice, redshirted last fall. In high school, Silvers threw for over 3,800 yards and was rated as the 27th best quarterback of his class.

Bravard and Pruitt transferred to Troy from Iowa Western Community College and East Mississippi Community College respectively. Pruitt helped East Mississippi win the NJCAA National Championship in 2013, while Bravard’s Iowa Western finished second.

Silvers feels he has what it takes to be the point man for the high powered Troy offense.

“I’m pretty confident after spring,” Silvers said. “All I have to do is carry it over to fall camp. I need to work on my deep ball accuracy and getting my feet back under me.”

Pruitt feels he brings an added dimension to the Troy offense with his ability to elude tackles with his feet.

“I can run the ball,” Pruitt said. “I can keep them on their toes on a zone read or coming out of the pocket in the spread. I like to give the team a little swagger and keep it upbeat.”

The Trojans continue practice Friday at 8:30 a.m.