|« JSU Analysis||Offense shows big improvement »|
Rutland, Mosley front-runners at QB
Tray Rutland battled Jimmy Oliver for the starting quarterback job in 2007 and lost. The Mississippi State transfer had to watch from the sidelines as Oliver led Jackson State to the Southwestern Athletic Conference championship.
As the incumbent, 2008 was supposed to Rutland’s year. JSU coaches inked highly touted recruit Domonick Britt and Morton graduate Dedric McDonald on Signing Day in February. Suddenly, fans began to wonder if Britt, who was recruited by Michigan and Ohio State, could play right away.
Britt hasn’t been a threat to win the job, but another signee has. Louisiana Tech transfer Michael Mosley quietly signed and has made a push to be under center when the Tigers take on Hampton on Aug. 31.
If you think Rutland would harbor any resentment towards the player who transferred specifically to take his job, you would be wrong.
The two quarterbacks have been buddy-buddy since camp opened, with Mosley even staying at Rutland’s apartment until his was ready.
“We just go over a lot of stuff together,” Rutland said. “If he has any problems with anything he comes to me.
“I just want everybody to be successful, no matter what the competition is. Competition doesn’t bother me at all.”
Mosley grinned at the notion that there may be some kind of tension between the two.
“We’re like brothers,” Mosley said. “We’re pretty close.
“It’s going to be tough, but we’re not going to let it divide us off the field. Long as we’re winning it’s cool with me.”
Coach Rick Comegy hasn’t named a starter yet, but Rutland has been listed as the No. 1 quarterback throughout camp. Comegy said he would declare a starter by Tuesday.
Rutland came from Mississippi State last year with the reputation of having a rifle for an arm. Some fans soured on him as he had accuracy issues and seemed to struggle in games. But much of his action came when the Tigers were already in a dire situation.
Mosley can air the ball out, too, but is more of a shifty runner than Rutland, who has decent straight-ahead speed.
Rutland is likely to get the nod for game one, but the question is how long of a leash will he have with a capable Mosley holding the clipboard.
“I like what I see,” Comegy said. “I’m just thankful that we got a hold of two such fine athletes.
Jackson State: Depth chart
Player Cl. Ht. Wt. Yards TD/INT
Tray Rutland Jr. 6-3 230 302 0/4
Michael Mosley* Jr. 6-3 225 101 0/0
Dedric McDonald Fr. 6-5 200 DNP DNP
Domonick Britt Fr. 6-5 185 DNP DNP
- Statistics from 2007, * at Louisiana Tech
Tray Rutland and Michael Mosley both possess a strong arm and look to pass first. Mosley’s a better runner.
Work in progress
Consistency. Both Rutland and Mosley have had tremendous practices at time, but neither have shown it everyday.
By Kareem Copeland