David Blough treated us so well this year. After an 0-3 start, he got hot and got us to 6-6 and another bowl berth. All while racking up 3705 yards, 25 touchdowns on 66% completion percentage.
But, even with Blough moving on, there is still some certainty to the quarterback position. (Re) Enter, Redshirt Senior, Elijah Sindelar, who may have two seasons left wearing the old gold and black.
While he is coming off an ACL surgery, that plagued him early on this year, you would think that he will be healthy after over a full year of rehab now. He also sustained a mid-section injury early this season. In 2017, where he and Blough rotated for most of the season before an ankle injury to Blough, Elijah had 2099 yards passing with 18 touchdowns on 59% completion percentage.
Now, Elijah will more than likely be the leader for the job, there are some young pups on the roster that are legit, Nick Sipe, Jack Plummer and Paul Piferi are no joke. But, with the experience in this offense now, the style that Elijah is, you would think that this is his job, not to mention that Brohm recruited him when he was at Western Kentucky.
The offense was much better in year 2, imagine what year 3 will look like. There are areas for improvement for each quarterback, obviously, none of these guys are Trevor Lawrence or Kyler Murray, but they are talented quarterbacks.
Elijah Sindelar - 5th Year, 6’5”, 230 Pounds, Career Stats - 227/405, 56%, 2547 Yards, 20 Touchdowns, 13 Interceptions
Pros: Elijah has a huge arm, he throws a deep ball just about as good as anyone around. He also has great pocket presence, standing tall in the pocket to make the throws all over the field. He has shown growth since he got to campus and was named the starter for the 2018 season and got most of the snaps before he sustained a mid-section injury that ended his season, to go along with his struggle back from ACL surgery. Elijah is a pro style quarterback, exactly what Coach Brohm wants.
Cons: His accuracy has always been a concern for me. Even with extended playing time in 2017, he was not above 60%, which you want mid 60s to feel comfortable. He also lacks touch on his short throws, in 2017, he was throwing fast balls from 5 yards away. While Coach Brohm loves pocket passers, Elijah lacks the ability to scramble, as he just really isn’t that mobile.
Prediction: Starter for 2019.
Nick Sipe - Sophomore (3rd Year) 6’4”, 220 Pounds, Career Stats - 0 Completions, 3 Attempts, 0 Yards, 0 Touchdowns, 0 Interceptions
Pros: While we have not seen a lot of Nick Sipe, the coaches have spoken highly of his intelligence of football, and just intelligence overall. When I saw the California Native in Spring Ball, I thought he had nice touch on the ball and was pretty mobile. This is his 3rd year in the playbook, so just as many years as Elijah, they should both have a grasp on the playbook.
Cons: Again, in Spring Ball, I got to see him practice and I thought he lacked a deep ball. He was fine with intermediate passing, but the deep ball seemed to lack a little pop to it.
Prediction: 3rd String
Jack Plummer - Redshirt Freshman, 6’5”, 220 Pounds, Career Stats - N/A
Pros: The early enrollee last season got plenty of reps in spring ball when both Elijah and David Blough were on the shelf. When watching him last season, I thought he showed nice pop on the deep ball, but was also pretty good at his intermediate game. I do believe that he is more refined than Nick Sipe. He is pretty mobile as well.
Cons: He is just young, while I doubt Coach Brohm cares the age or grade if you can play, when you have a 5th year guy like Elijah, I think he should get first crack. He was a little thin last year, but I am sure that has been fixed with a year in the weight room during his redshirt season. Also, he is not related to Jake Plummer.
Prediction: 2nd String
Paul Piferi - Freshman, 6’5”, 210 Pounds, Career Stats - N/A (Senior Season, 2900 Yards, 24 Touchdowns, 63%)
Pros: While just based off his high school film, I was impressed with Paul. He shows nice touch on deep balls and can put it on the numbers on the run. He also pretty mobile, in track he is a low 11 for the 100 meter dash, which would have qualified him in Indiana for the state finals.
Cons: He needs a year in a college weight room. He is pretty thin and would get beat up in the big ten if forced to play this season. Paul is an impressive prospect, though.
Prediction: Redshirt for 2019.
The quarterback room, lead by Co-OC Brian Brohm is a talented one. Even with losing David Blough, there is plenty of talent to fill in for him. I do believe Elijah Sindelar will win the job and will stay healthy for the season.
Look for Elijah to have a great year with all the new weapons around him, and a returning few as well. Any quarterback would be happy with our passing attack and throwing the ball to, Jared Sparks, Rondale Moore, David Bell, Milton Wright, T.J. Sheffield, Mershawn Rice, Amad Andersnon, Kory Taylor, Jordan Bonner, Brycen Hopkins, Darius Pittman, Kyle Bilodeau and Garrett Miller.
The quarterback position is set for at least the next 4 years with these guys!