North Texas Daily

Berglund, Thompson headline quarterback competition

Berglund, Thompson headline quarterback competition

March 25
21:27 2013

Ryne Gannoe / Senior Staff Writer

Mean Green football started spring training Wednesday and one of the biggest questions for the upcoming season is who will be the starting quarterback.

Last season, UNT averaged 219 yards a game – No. 74 in the Football Bowl Subdivision. The Mean Green offense was run by then-redshirt junior quarterback Derek Thompson who threw 14 touchdowns and 14 interceptions for 2,649 yards.

Thompson returns for his final season, but Kansas University sophomore transfer Brock Berglund and sophomore Andrew McNulty are both gunning for the starting position.

Berglund has played limited college football, but is the highest-rated high school prospect for the Mean Green. He transferred last year, but wasn’t eligible to play. McCarney and offensive coordinator Mike Canalas both said his work with the practice squad made the defense work.

McNulty is returning from a broken hand and, like Berglund, adds a running threat.

Head coach Dan McCarney said every position is open for the taking. He said there is no distinction between walk-ons and scholarship players in the spring because it is just open season.

“There’s no red shirts, there’s no scout team these three and a half weeks,” McCarney said. “Go earn a spot on this team. If a two-time starting quarterback and two-time captain leading our offense in Derek Thompson, who’s done a lot of really good things, understands that, and he does, then you know this thing is wide open. “

The coaching staff said Thompson has transformed himself in the off-season by losing 15 pounds. Canalas said he is hoping to add another dimension to the offense by using the quarterbacks in the run game.

“I’m excited about the three guys we have in here,” Canalas said. “It’s like all the quarterbacks all three seasons that I’ve been here: it’s open competition. There’s not one spot that’s ever been solidified where we said, ‘hey you’re going to be the guy.’ I think the only guy I’ve ever seen that happen with in the three, going on four, years I’ve been here is Lance Dunbar.”

Thompson said having someone like Berglund to compete against just pushes him even further.

“It’s really important to go out and make every day my best,” Thompson said. “You know Brock’s a great quarterback. We’re going to push each other and that’s what it’s all about. That’s going to make both of us better.”

McCarney said the depth he’s accumulated through recruiting breeds genuine competition.

“There’s a lot more Division I guys now in this program,” McCarney said. “I’m not saying the NFL is going to knock our doors down with draft picks just yet. It really makes it exciting. It makes it fun going into it.”

Berglund said he is excited about the fifteen spring practices.

“Position battle or no position battle, it is all about competing – competing in your position battle, competing against the defense,” Berglund said. “Competition breeds excellence.”

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