Drew Allen joins a crowded quarterback competition

Even with the addition of former Oklahoma Sooner Drew Allen, the quarterback competition is far from over.

When quarterback Drew Allen announced on Friday that he would be joining the Syracuse Orange, the former Sooner made it clear that he’s ready to come in and compete for the starting position.

"Syracuse is a great decision for me because coach Shafer and his staff have given me an opportunity to come in and compete for the starting job," Allen told ESPN.com. "All I want to do is compete and make Syracuse a better football team, however I can do that."

Photo: Courtesy of University of Oklahoma Athletics

Allen is very accustomed to the idea of battling for the starting quarterback job. During his four years at Oklahoma, he battled with the hope of becoming the starting quarterback of the elite program. However, that opportunity never came during his tenure there.

One could say that was a result of simply bad luck. Allen redshirted his freshman year and evidently never received a fair shot after Landry Jones won the position outright. Jones, a future NFL prospect, took over the reigns after former Heisman trophy winner Sam Bradford declared for the 2010 draft.

Yet, with a new start coming for Allen, his experiencing of battling within that competitive program could pay dividends for the short term. After all, he was ranked as a top-15 pro-style quarterback prospect coming out of high school, according to Rivals.com. He received eight scholarship offers from Div. 1 schools, includeing Oklahoma St, Kansas St, and Mississippi.

Allen ultimately chose Syracuse over North Carolina State, in large part due to his relationship with new offensive coordinator George McDonald. While the starting job was never guaranteed to Allen, the reality is that the competition will be wide open when he joins in the summer.

This is a result of Charley Loeb and Terrel Hunt being unable to pull away during the valuable practice time in the spring. For the second straight practice, both veteran signal callers had their positive moments.

Loeb showcased his arm strength with another deep pass that resulted in a touchdown. Though, his accuracy was a concern as a few of his passes were either underthrown or not thrown within a direct line of the receiver.

Meanwhile, Hunt received his fair share of opportunities by playing with the first team offense. He displayed a command for the offense as he kept himself and his teammates composed during the few on-field scuffles. He also displayed confidence in his throwing ability and felt that he was able to read the defense well.

Despite his confidence, Hunt did struggle with both the short and intermediate route throws. His lack of a consistent deep ball is in need of major improvement, which Hunt made an attempt to work on those throws as practice moved along.

Due to NCAA policy, the players, nor the coaches, are allowed to comment about Allen until he officially enrolls in the university.

However, Shafer did mention how the current quarterbacks are competing on the football field. “It’s been a pretty good battle”, he said.  “We’ve had pretty good repetition with all three of these kids”.

Shafer emphasized over the past few weeks that there would be no rush towards naming a starter. While he has ensured that there will be a starter named before the first game against Penn State, there won’t be a starter named after the conclusion of the spring game on April 20.

Instead, it will ultimately be decided during the summer practices, giving Allen a fair chance to become a starting quarterback for a program that is ready to embrace the new transfer.


Matthew Miselis is a sports reporter for the Newshouse. Follow him on twitter @MattMiselisNFL and feel free to email him at mjmiseli@syr.edu .

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