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UTEP Football: Examining the quarterback situation

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Things got interesting at quarterback not only with the spring scrimmage, but with a QB transfer over the weekend. So what happens next?

What we learned from spring ball

Kavika Johnson, and Ryan Metz were virtually tied in terms of consistency, and if you had to name a starter after the spring.

Metz showed some flashes of above average consistency in a few practices and of course the El Pasoan runs the two minute drill like a vet.  Johnson's play making gene was on display during the final spring scrimmage and can be an X-factor in the quarterback competition.

The offensive play callling was vanilla during the final spring scrimmage, but Metz is the most consistent down field thrower at this point, but Johnson also showed off much improved arm strength as well throughout the spring.

What we really learned is both are capable, but some help was needed depth wise as UTEP was going to enter the fall with two quarterbacks, and a true freshman before Zack Greenlee decided on coming to UTEP.

Neither Johnson or Metz truly separated themselves, and both showed they still need major fine tuning over the summer.

So while we didn't learn the big picture, we saw positives, but mostly negatives in the final two weeks of spring practices, meaning the competition should be wide open as Kugler noted after Friday.

Where does Zack Greenlee figure in?

Yes, the news came out of nowhere to us outside the program, but Kugler did sound confident when mentioning the possibility of adding a quarterback over the summer after last Friday's scrimmage.

The big question is does Greenlee immediately come in and start, or does the open competition continue on in the fall?

He brings great footwork, excellent pocket presence, and a play making knack that is greatly needed, but experience wise you get the feeling that both Metz and Johnson aren't far behind.

Greenlee should be very seasoned when it comes to quarterback competitions, and quarterback uncertainty, giving him the experience nod at least at this point.

Can he live up to hype?  Can he clearly standout and take the job?

All that will be answered in August.

What will separate a starter?

Is it Metz's consistency? Johnson's play making ability? Or Greenlee's apparent ability to do a number of things well in the pocket?

As discussed with offensive coordinator Brent Pease, consistency and accuracy are keys for each quarterback, but can a quarterback also bring out the best in UTEP's skill positions.

Both Metz, and Johnson have their intangible strengths, but it could take a complete showing throughout the summer and fall to separate from the three man race which starts August 4th in Ruidoso.

Projecting a starter

After some deep thought over the past few days, in my opinion, the job could very well be Greenlee's to lose.

That may not fair to Johnson or Metz who deserve a legit shot come the fall, but Greenlee does look a bit more polished then UTEP's incumbent quarterbacks based off his highlight film.

Of course there is an entire summer for fine tuning, and learning points in UTEP's new offense, but the next five months or so will be the ultimate guessing game for UTEP's next starting quarterback.