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4 Things I Learned – UTEP’s QB Shuffle

I spent Saturday night at the Sun Bowl for the entire UTEP Spring game. They billed it as the Orange and Blue game, but Miner players wore Blue and White jerseys. My number one question entering the game was who would become the team’s starting quarterback. After the Spring game, I still have no idea which quarterback head coach Mike Price will name, but it looks like two signal callers have separated themselves from the rest of the competition.  I decided to offer up a brief analysis on all four quarterbacks, and we will have four months to speculate on who will win the job.

Javia Hall
Photo by Steve Kaplowitz

1.  Javia Hall looked the best of all 4 quarterbacks Saturday evening. Hall, a redshirt freshman and UTEP’s top recruit in 2009, played well with the first team offense. His only interception was from a deflection and he led the Miners to a pair of scoring drives. If anything, Hall’s performance should give Coach Price a tough decision in a few months.

Nick Lamaison
UTEP quarterback Nick Lamaison rolls out in the first quarter of UTEP's annual Spring Game. Photo by Steve Kaplowitz

2. Nick Lamaison is not as advanced as many of us would have hoped. Despite throwing nearly 60 touchdowns in two junior college seasons, Lamaison is still a work in progress. In his defense, Lamaison has had just a few months to learn UTEP’s playbook and it might take some time for him to get comfortable in Aaron Price’s offense. Still, Miner fans were hoping for a quick transition at quarterback and that might not be the case.  

Tate Smith
Tate Smith will have a tough time seeing action for the Miners this season. Photo by Steve Kaplowitz

3. Tate Smith had a disappointing performance in the Spring Game. One positive was that the former New Mexico Lobo had the biggest rooting section at the Sun Bowl Saturday night. Still, his passes were off target, and Smith did nothing to help his case as a member of UTEP’s second team offense. I was a disappointed, because I expected much more from Smith than 3-12 for 19 yards.

Carson Meger
Carson Meger lacks the standard quarterback size, and the lefty will be the longshot to win the starting job. Photo by Steve Kaplowitz

4. Like Smith, Carson Meger did not impress during his play with UTEP’s second team. A year ago, Meger was the talk of UTEP’s Spring practices. Unfortunately, the same could not be said in 2011. Meger completed just 6 out of 16 passes and was not able to guide the Miners into the end zone. Barring unforeseen injuries to Hall or Lamaison, Meger might have to battle Smith for UTEP’s clipboard guy this season.

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