He really does remind you of John Elway, No. 7 on his back, blond, big arm and growing pains. Elway lined up behind the guard waiting for the snap in one of his early pro games.
As good as Elway was at the collegiate level, the next step was too much for a while. As good as Barkley was in high school, no reason to think the next step won't also be too big for a while.--T.J. Simers, Los Angeles Times, 30 August 2009
So the quote isn't about our freshman quarterback wearing the number 7, Tom Savage, but it's interesting to see how many parallels there are between the two highly touted true freshmen at Rutgers and USC. I was tempted to remove Barkley's name and the LA Times tag up above; every Rutgers fan would then have thought that the quote on a Rutgers football blog about the blond quarterback with the big arm wearing the number 7 who has been widely compared to John Elway was in reference to our freshman Wunderkind, and not USC's.
Pete Carroll and USC have set themselves up for lots of media criticism and discussion with their early announcement of freshman Matt Barkley as their opening-game starter (even if it was at least partially motivated by an injury to another QB). I love that Greg Schiano is keeping the final quarterback decision under his hat until the last possible moment, as reported yesterday:
“Well, neither of them are captains so I don’t have to tell them until they’re in the tunnel, ‘Hey, you’re the guy.’ ” Schiano said, grinning only slightly. “I’m only kidding. The guy’s going to know who’s starting. I probably won’t tell you guys [i.e., the press]. That’s why I probably won’t make it public.” [ . . . ] “They’ll know soon enough,” Schiano said, referring to Cincinnati’s coaching staff. “The (quarterback) will come trotting out first series – that’s who they got.”
--Keith Sargeant, Scarlet Scuttlebutt, 29 August 2009
It may sound heretical to those who remember only Mike Teel's last seven games in Scarlet in 2008, but if I were Brian Kelly preparing the Cincinnati Bearcats for the Labor Day opener, I'd much rather be doing my game planning against Mike Teel (against whom the Bearcats defense had no small success) than against the unknown mix of Natale, Lovelace & Savage. Hell, with Greg Schiano's desire to pull out all stops in order to win this important first game in a autumn full of one-game seasons, Brian better be prepared to see D.C. Jefferson under center for the first play of 2009, or for Tim Brown running the Wild Knight, or . . .