New grading system gives objective looks at QBs
While the race is on the see who will replace graduated Josh McGregor as the JU quarterback, who wins the job may come down to a piece of paper.

Coach Kerwin Bell, whose son Kade is in the mix along with last year’s backup Trevius Folston and newcomers Steven Hughes and Ryan Walker, has devised an evaluation/teaching tool that will go a long way in helping determine the starter and help avoid the dreaded quarterback controversy.

“This is the first time I’ve used it and I did it because my son is here,’’ Bell said. “We’re in a situation where we have three or four guys competing and it has got to be fair. I felt like with my son being involved I had to have something and I felt like this is what tells me who is playing the best. Production is very important to me, you’ve got to be very productive but you can’t make a lot of mistakes.’’

The tool is a nine-category system that evaluates every pass thrown and is broken into two groups: one that measures scrimmage work and non-contact regular practice.

Interceptions, misreads, bad steps, completion percentage, drives completed, yards, touchdowns, intercepts, fumbles … you name it and it is being tracked. The short story is the leader in a given category gets a one and the least effective in that category gets a four. Low total score for all categories has a pretty good shot at winning the starting job.

“It’s a really good teaching tool,’’ Kerwin Bell said. “For example, Kade is very productive but needs to work on interceptions and fumbles. He has to get better in negative categories. Trevius had good footwork and doesn’t fumble and Steven needs to work on bad steps and misreads, but a lot of his are due to inexperience with our system.’’

After devising the system, Kerwin Bell went back to last year to make sure his idea worked. Under the tool, then starting quarterback McGregor’s numbers should have been above the crowd. He was.

“I wanted to see if the model held up and it did,’’ he said. “Josh was the top guy. I had done other systems before but to me it’s all about production and stay away from mistakes and rate them on that.’’

Bell began using the tool earnestly in the spring and called the quarterbacks together afterward.

“What I told them was Kade rated the highest but not by much so what we’ll do is use this not to name a starter in the spring but as a tool,’’ he said “It was more used to say ‘you can you take your negatives and turn them into your positives’ and whoever does that the best will be the guy and it will show. That’s why I didn’t name a starter; everybody’s still in this thing and I just want you to see what you need to do better to be the guy here.’’

The quarterbacks seem OK with the evaluation system.

“I think it’s good,’’ Kade Bell said. “It shows every category basically that a quarterback needs to see and shows what you’re good at and what you need to work on.’’

Hughes said he’s not too concerned with the system.

“It’s fair,’’ he said. “I really don’t know how the system works, I’m just coming out every day trying to get better.’’ Notes: Wide receiver Colt LiInster seems to be getting in on much more action this season than last and likes it. “It’s a lot more fun,’’ he said. “Last year I came in right before camp, this year I know the offense.’’ … Two-a-day practices have taken a toll on some but not freshman Terrance Bryant. Having done the same in high school helped, but his key was staying in top condition during the summer … the team’s second scrimmage is set Saturday at Bolles at 6 p.m. - Jim Nasella