UCF offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey is simply as curious concerning the Knights’ quarterback battle as everybody else.
“Where will this pecking order fall? I’m sure it won’t be answered until the fall I guess, but who knows,” stated Lindsey, who additionally serves because the quarterbacks coach.
Lindsey is hoping to see the quarterbacks — sophomore Mikey Keene, senior John Rhys Plumlee, freshman Thomas Castellanos and redshirt sophomore Parker Navarro — shut robust within the last six practices of spring camp.
“You’d like them to take a big step, where that way in the summer during captains practice they can lead them and they know what they’re doing,” Lindsey stated. “Then in the fall, it’s not like we’d have to repeat the basic things.”
Keene and Plumlee, a switch from Ole Miss, have taken nearly all of snaps with the starters in spring camp however Castellanos, an early enrollee from the 2022 signing class, has proven some flashes because the quarterbacks rotate.
One big distinction between the three quarterbacks is that Plumlee had performed vast receiver his last 12 months at Ole Miss. Lindsey stated Plumlee has grown tremendously throwing the ball once more in UCF’s 9 spring practices.
“Now you’re getting into the details of playing the position, like seeing different [defensive] fronts and different coverages, making sure we get the protections right and the RPO game, and just the little details of everything,” Lindsey stated.
“The more he’s that, the better he’s going to get. That’s kind of probably where he’s missed the most but at the same time, he’s a quick learner and he’s sharp.”
Whereas Plumlee has the power to use his legs greater than Keene — having caught 19 passes for 201 yards in 2021 whereas additionally speeding 9 occasions for 72 yards as a receiver — Keene has extra expertise with 10 begins at UCF.
“You can tell Mikey’s played in this offense,” Lindsey stated. “You possibly can see that in the best way he handles himself, his demeanor and the best way he handles communication. He doesn’t have to assume as laborious about some issues.
“He’s pretty much going to be able to make the right decision most of the time.”
Whereas Keene might need the higher hand on the playbook, Lindsey identified one destructive attribute.
”It’s simply typically rushing up the choice,” the UCF coach stated.
Then there’s Castellanos, who hasn’t even attended his highschool senior promenade but. Lindsey had excessive reward.
“The growth he’s had coming from high school is just tremendous,” Lindsey stated. “I told him walking down the hallway, from all of the early enrollees I’ve been with in the past, he’s right up there at the top from a standpoint of growth and maturity.”
In fact, the quarterback battle isn’t the one remaining query Lindsey needs answered going into the autumn.
UCF nonetheless is trying to rebuild an offensive line that misplaced multiyear starters Cole Schneider and Marcus Tatum however added transfers Ryan Swoboda (Virginia) and Tylan Grable (Jacksonville State).
“We’ve got some talent there for sure, but what combination works best? This guy here or there? Coach [Herb] Hand does a great job at that,” Lindsey stated.
“It’s just us getting the right combination of guys, figuring out what guys do the best and trying to get them in those spots as many times as you can.”