North Texas Daily

Mean Green quarterbacks compete for belt on Fridays

Mean Green quarterbacks compete for belt on Fridays

Mean Green quarterbacks compete for belt on Fridays
October 19
10:26 2018

Aside from the Mean Green playing on Saturdays this season, the North Texas quarterbacks have been competing in a friendly quarterback competition every Friday before they strap up and go to work on Saturday.

The Mean Green currently have seven quarterbacks on the roster, compared to the four from last season’s team. It is evident that starting quarterback Mason Fine would be the pick to win the competition, given his performance play and leadership qualities. 

However, seven competitors add intensity to the challenges on Fridays that make it more difficult to win.

“It’s just a lot of fun — competition games,” Fine said. “It’s a fun thing where all the quarterbacks get into it and we just do a couple of drills and stuff.”

Offensive coordinator Graham Harrell started this competition at North Texas. Quarterback coach John David Baker said Harrell thought of the idea when he was working as an outside receivers’ coach at Washington State University under his former college coach Mike Leach.

At North Texas, there is a special teams segment on Fridays, and one day Harrell noticed the quarterbacks weren’t doing anything. Harrell then decided to do something for the quarterbacks that would involve practicing technique but also give them an opportunity to compete against each other.

The competition contains a gauntlet of quarterback drills: First, the goal is to hit a cone off of a dummy. Second, they attempt to throw a 50-yard fade ball on the money. To finish it off, they try to either hit the uprights or crossbar on the goalposts.

Freshman Cobe Craft mentioned there is a point system that goes along with determining the winner. If someone makes a great throw, they get more points than someone who would throw an average pass, and bad throws result in negative points.

The unique thing about this competition is that anybody can win. Through seven competitions, redshirt freshman Cade Pearson, Fine and freshmen Kason Martin and Craft have all won at least once this year.

“You never know who’s going to win,” Baker said. “The first week we did it, Cobe had a score of negative seven and set the all-time low for points scored. Then two weeks later he won it.”

It is so unpredictable that graduate assistant coach Tim Burmeister tries to predict the winner every week and even puts odds up on a board in the locker room.

“I don’t think he has been right one time,” Baker said.

Fine leads all quarterbacks with three victories on the year. Because he is the starting quarterback and favorite to win almost every week, Baker said Fine will “even get booed” while competing because everybody wants to cheer for the underdogs.

“Mason has turned into the Yankees or Patriots,” Baker said. “He’s the favorite that always ends up winning. We usually have a crowd that gathers around and root against him and pull for the underdogs.

The winner of the competition receives a gold, WWE-style belt to hold for the rest of the week. It is something each quarterback strives for every Friday.

“I’m just trying to win that belt,” Fine said.

Craft won during Week 4 on the Friday before North Texas traveled to Lynchburg, Virginia, to take on Liberty University. He said these competitions are able to get very intense, but at the end of the day, it is all just “family competition.”

“It is all love,” Craft said. “The best thing about the quarterback competition is that we compete during the competition, but after it is finished we go back to being a family again.”

Featured Image: North Texas junior Mason Fine looks to pass the ball in a game against Southern Methodist on Sept. 1 at Apogee Stadium. Sara Carpetner

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Bronte Hermesmeyer

Bronte Hermesmeyer

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