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UTEP Football 2016 Position Group Preview: Quarterbacks

Zack Greenlee leads the pack, but the Miners have superior depth under center.

Quarterback Depth Chart

  • Zack Greenlee, 6’1, 215 lbs, Junior; 2015 stats: 74-of-156, 866 yards, 13 TD’s, 7.1% sack rate, 4.5 yards per attempt
  • Kavika Johnson, 6’1, 205 lbs, Sophomore; 2015 stats: 27-of-53, 218 yards, 3 TD’s, 8.6% sack rate
  • Ryan Metz, 6’4, 210 lbs, Sophomore, 2015 stats: 82-of-140, 900 yards, 6 TD’s, 2.1% sack rate, 6.2 yards per attempt

Sean Kugler has a nice problem on his hands, he has three quarterbacks who can all play, and have proven to be able to win games.

What was the difference in the quarterback battle throughout camp?

Zack Greenlee had a little more poise, was just a fraction better in terms of accuracy, and the chemistry he is building with his skill players grows with every rep.

We all know UTEP’s quarterbacks aren’t going to be asked to throw for 3,000 yards-plus, or chuck it 40-plus times. But it seems they have more responsibilities in Sean Kugler’s offense than a chuck-and-duck system QB.

Managing the clock, managing the huddle, making sure the right package is in place, taking care of the ball, and being a true leader are some of the things Kugler & Co. have asked.

One of the biggest things also needed from a UTEP quarterbacks is the ability to extend drives in second, or third and manageable spots, something Greenlee has excelled at in scrimmages.

So whats the difference this year that will improve that special aspect?

Brent Pease’s attention to detail has improved the fundamental mechanics of the quarterbacks, but also has improved the overall offensive fundamentals across the board.

Greenlee, who already came in with stellar footwork and pocket presence, has flourished in the pro-set UTEP runs, something he said he was looking forward to getting back to at UTEP.

Watching in camp, it seems the game is starting to slow down for both Johnson, and Metz, giving Sean Kugler needed, and legit depth behind his starter.

We could see Johnson get some snaps at wide receiver this season, and Sean Kugler has hinted at two quarterback looks in some instances this season.

And the future looks bright here as well.

After the Miners three leaders in the quarterbacks room. Freshman Mark Torrez looks like he belongs and will benefit from running the scout team this year, and 2017 commit Alex Fernandes looks like the real deal.

UTEP’s biggest question mark heading into camp turned out to be a blessing in disguise, now the next step is consistently moving the chains, and winning games.