North Texas Daily

Junior quarterback has mentality for starting job

Junior quarterback has mentality for starting job

Junior quarterback has mentality for starting job
November 03
23:51 2014

Ehsan Azad / Staff Writer

Coming into the 2014 season, junior Andrew McNulty had hopes of being the starting quarterback for the Mean Green football team. It took two quarterback changes, but McNulty finally got the job, and it was all thanks to his preparation while being a back-up.

McNulty had a long road in becoming the starter at North Texas. Growing up in Iowa, McNulty said he had always loved playing the game, playing at every level as far back as flag football when he was just a child.

“It’s been a sport that I’ve loved ever since I could remember, and I can still remember playing football outside with my brother in the front yard,” McNulty said. “I am just thankful I had the opportunity to play.”

That love of football is just one of the many intangibles that head coach Dan McCarney said he is happy about in the junior.

“Just arm strength alone, probably below-average to average, but he has tremendous intangibles,” McCarney said. “He has great toughness. He took a shot the other day that a lot of other quarterbacks would not come back and what did he do? He came back and threw a touchdown pass.”

McCarney said while he rarely looks to the future, he does think that McNulty can bring a lot to the program next year.

Going into the season, the team had a competition between McNulty, sophomore Josh Greer and redshirt freshman Dajon Williams to decide who would start as quarterback.

McNulty’s advantage was experience.  Since arriving in 2011, McNulty has served as one of the backups to former Mean Green quarterback Derek Thompson. McNulty said the time spent as a backup has served him well as a starter.

“Even when I was behind Derek or whoever it was, I always prepared like I was one play away from going in,” McNulty said. “So I have never really prepared any differently. I always thought I could be the guy thrown in there any moment.”

Despite being the backup once again to start this season, McNulty said his mindset didn’t change. Earlier in the season, McNulty was passed over for the starting job twice for Greer and Williams. McNulty said he simply continued to approach his position the same way he has been since he arrived at North Texas.

While he doesn’t believe he has limitations, McNulty said he knows where his strengths are and plays to them to help the team win.

“I know that if we don’t turn the ball over, we are really putting this team in a position to win,” McNulty said. “I just try to get guys in the right position, try to get guys the ball and the opportunity to make plays and win the game.”

His teammates are also noticing the commitment and hard work that McNulty has been bringing to starting position. One of them, junior receiver Carlos Harris, has already found a nice connection and chemistry with McNulty. Harris said McNulty’s experience has helped him take a command of the offense.

“He is a great leader and he knows the offense really well,” Harris said. “He has been here a long time, so he knows where to throw the ball and make the right read.”

Harris also brought up how McNulty practices as he is going to be the starter and said it helps him prepare for game day. It also has helped create a strong connection between the two players.

“We are on the same page. We practice at full speed, so when we get into the game it is just natural,” Harris said. “He always knows where I am going to be and I always know what he is going to do.”

The Mean Green has four games, left in the season and McNulty has a chance to make an impression on the coaching staff for next year. But McNulty said he is focused on the task at hand.

“It really is about these four games and we have a goal of hitting six and we have to win every single one of them,” McNulty said. “We got to take it week by week, and ultimately it is just about getting the win at the end of the day.”

Featured Image: Junior quarterback Andrew McNulty drops back after receiving the snap during the game against Southern Mississippi University on Oct. 18. McNulty completed 20 of 35 pass attempts for 287 yards. Photo by Edward Balusek – Visuals Editor

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