Eastern Illinois most talked about topic during spring practice was who would win the starting job following the departure of senior quarterbacks Bodie Reeder and Jake Christensen. Entering the spring drills only one quarterback on the active roster had ever taken a Division I snap and those two snaps by Doug Reynolds were in the "Wildcat Formation".
Reynolds, Brandon Large and Shadonta Travis all took a number of snaps during spring drills with the knowledge that EIU has signed three new players in February who could also battle to play quarterback. Freshman Taylor Duncan and Jimmy Garappolo have continued to play at the quarterback spot while Sam Hendricks is listed as an athlete and will most likely see time at tight end.
Reynolds was hurt in the middle of spring practice and during the summer had shoulder surgery which most likely keeps him sidelined this year. Large emerged as the top quarterback as the redshirt sophomore from Arizona has slowly learned the new "Pistol Offense". Large has solidified himself as the starter heading into the early season and now the battle is for who will be No. 2.
Garappolo appeared to have earned that nod by taking reps at No. 2 quarterback during last Saturday's scrimmage. He has a solid arm and is a tall quarterback in the pocket. Travis will continue to battle for No. 2 as he provides a mobility that the other quarterbacks do not have. Duncan appears headed for a redshirt year this season.
In other EIU football news, the Panthers landed at No. 16 in the FCS Coaches poll which was released on Monday. EIU was No. 18 in last week's Sports Network rankings.
By the way 12 days until the season opener at Iowa. Tickets for the game are on sale through the EIU ticket office until Noon on Wednesday. 217-581-2106.