C.J. Beathard stood on the practice field Monday at Iowa football media day, ball in hand and nearly a full circle of reporters around him.
Almost as if he is the starting quarterback.
But Jake Rudock sits at No. 1 on the depth chart, fresh off an 8-5 season in his first year as the starting signal caller. Rudock beat out Beathard in last year’s fall camp and never looked back.
“Jake Rudock is our starter,” coach Kirk Ferentz said. “That’s not a debatable question right now. I don’t foresee that changing. It’s the exact opposite of last year. We have two guys that are experienced and we have confidence in. Last year, neither guy was experienced. We had hopeful confidence in both guys, but it’s a lot better after you watch a guy actually perform in competition.”
Rudock, a redshirt junior, completed 59 percent of his passes in 13 games in 2013, throwing 18 touchdowns. Beathard, a redshirt sophomore, threw at a 33 percent completion rate with one touchdown in five games.
As the Hawkeyes continued to evolve under offensive coordinator Greg Davis last year, the playbook could open up even more this fall. Davis enters his third season patrolling the offense.
Although Rudock is locked in, Beathard will have a role — perhaps even a series or two each game.
“If they both perform like we hope they do, there’s a good chance we’ll play both of them, especially early in the year,” Davis said. “C.J. has really good ability. He has the ability to make plays off schedule. The biggest thing is consistency and taking care of the football. We all like it when a guy runs around, dodges four guys, and throws the ball for a first down. None of us like it when he does that and throws it to the other team.”
The possibility of playing two quarterbacks first circulated in April.
Beathard is excited about the prospect, though unsure of the team’s plan to use both players.
“We haven’t really talked about it that much,” Beathard said. “I just remember after spring ball, Coach Davis said they had talked about different things on how to get me in there, but that they didn’t know what that meant at the time.”
Despite his current status on the depth chart, Beathard’s mindset hasn’t changed, two-quarterback rotation, or not.
“I didn’t come here to play backup quarterback,” he said. “I’m going to go into this thing as if I’m trying to earn a spot.”
Category: Iowa Hawkeyes Football