With returning quarterback Joel Stave
missing much of the spring with a shoulder injury, former junior college transfer Tanner McEvoy
might have put himself in position to win the starting job in preseason camp. McEvoy, who redshirted at South Carolina in 2010 and then transferred to a junior college in 2011, started three games at safety for the Badgers last season. He moved back to quarterback this spring and brings more mobility to the position. In 2012, McEvoy passed for 1,943 yards with 25 touchdowns while running for 414 yards with six touchdowns at Arizona Western College. Wisconsin's receiver corps remains a big concern, especially after it lost star wideout Jared Abbrederis
, so coach Gary Andersen might prefer a more mobile quarterback to pair with tailbacks Melvin Gordon
and Corey Clement
. Regardless, the Badgers figure to rely heavily on their star tailbacks once again this coming season.
Tar Heels coach Larry Fedora seems to have all the pieces in place to run his hurry-up, spread offense, but he didn't name a starting quarterback during spring practice. Junior Marquise Williams
, who passed for 1,698 yards with 15 touchdowns and six interceptions last season, still seems to be the favorite, although freshman Mitch Trubisky
is still in contention. The Tar Heels are stacked at running back with T.J. Logan
and Khris Francis
and at receiver, where Quinshad Davis
, Ryan Switzer
and Bug Howard
are big-play threats. If UNC is going to contend for an ACC Coastal Division title, it will have to improve mightily on defense after finishing last in the ACC in rushing defense last season, allowing 182 yards per game.
A funny thing happened during quarterback Everett Golson's celebrated return to Notre Dame this spring: a quarterback battle seemed to develop. Although Golson looks like the favorite to start this season after missing 2013 because of an academic suspension, redshirt freshman Malik Zaire
played well enough in spring to keep Golson motivated during the summer and preseason camp. As we've seen over the past couple of seasons, Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly isn't afraid to rotate quarterbacks, although Golson seems tailor-made to run his offense. The most encouraging sign during spring was the development of tailback Greg Bryant
, who redshirted last season because of a knee injury. Bryant, who was the No. 2 running back in the 2013 recruiting class according to ESPN's RecruitingNation, might be the workhorse the Irish have desperately needed in the backfield. New defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder spent his first spring trying to find pass-rushers to replace Louis Nix and Stephon Tuitt
without much luck.