Hans Olsen at Utah Football Camp – Day 4
I’m not here to sound any alarms and I don’t want you to think each practice report is gospel, but today showed me the QB race is much closer than anyone would assume.
I finally had a great chance to watch the QB’s in multiple drills and sets. I watched them in the pocket, I watched them in zone read, and I watched them in play action and power plays. I’m here to tell you that in today’s practice Wilson barley separated himself from Schulz. Yes, that means there is some separation, but it’s marginal at best.
Watching these guys in passing drills I can tell Travis still wanders, almost drifts at times. Typically, an elite QB drops to his spot (with intent), sets his feet (in proper throwing form) and delivers. Travis, on the other hand, still seems lazy to his set at times and drifts without noticing. He still has throwing flaws, but has improved dramatically since I last saw him. That is good news – and there’s more. Travis has become fairly accurate. He was only 4 of 8 in the passing drill I watched, but 4 of the 4 incomplete passes were dropped balls put right on target. On the flip side of this drill, Adam Schulz went 7 of 8 in attempts, 2 of them deep and on the money for TD’s.
As for Schulz, he is getting better. He sure doesn’t act like he was a walk on and clearly has no thought toward the fact that he was doubted by every major recruiter. He just gets out there and works. He has a better pocket presence than Wilson. He’s more deliberate in his drop and more balanced in his throwing stance. He’s equally as accurate and just as quick on his original step to break the pocket. Adam is good, but he’s still learning.
And as I said before, there is separation…
Wilson has starting experience which plays a huge part in season opening confidence. Wilson is more consistent (his misses aren’t as bad as Schulz). Wilson seems to have slightly better instincts in the zone read. He has a better sense of a crashing DE that forces the pull and keep, or a DE with full contain responsibility that breaks wide and leaves him to release the ball in the HB’s gut.
Wilson has the edge and there isn’t a controversy, but that doesn’t bother Adam and he certainly won’t stop improving. This is what I’d call a very healthy QB competition. You have one QB that is named the starter. You have another QB that is getting better daily and forces the starter to improve his game without breaking his confidence.
The entire team loves Travis Wilson. He’s a goofy kid with a huge grin that’s infectious. I like the guy so much I’d let him date my daughter and I’d probably even pay for their dinner. Players are forced to recognize him because he’s such a huge drink of water and can’t help but listen when he talks. He has his hands full right now. He has to improve, he can’t get comfortable, otherwise Schulz will pass him up.
As for Brandon Cox, he is running 3rd string and there’s a decent disparity between he and the other two QB’s.
In other news, I got a nice glimpse of Karl Williams today. He busted a 30 yard gain on the starting defense playing behind the starting O-line. He also had a fantastic blitz blow up. He nailed McGill as he came downhill on a sweet corner blitz play side that would have killed Travis Wilson had he not stopped it. I like that kid.
On the outside, the wide receivers had a tough day. Multiple dropped passes that I would chalk up to tired legs or complacency. Day 2 of pads is difficult. I just hope they aren’t feeling too good about themselves, which could lower the effort on grabbing a ball out of the air.
I had a lot more on the day, but I’ve got to get the rest of the show together.
And yes, I didn’t mention the offensive line.
Have a great day.