Spring Scouting Report: Quarterbacks - Revisited
As Spring Comes To A Close, Quarterbacks Continue To Grow
DENTON - At the start of spring practices, MeanGreenSports.com took an early look at the quarterback position. One day from the Green-White Scrimmage, we will take a look at the progression throughout the 15 practices with insight from offensive coordinator Graham Harrell.
Quinn Shanbour – Redshirt JR – 6’0” – 194
Shanbour recently received an additional year of eligibility from the NCAA, and is now classified as a redshirt junior. The Oklahoma native has really impressed this spring both on and off the field, taking strides in certain key areas. Shanbour was the only quarterback on the roster not named Mason Fine to take a snap last season, doing so on Nov. 12 at Western Kentucky, and like Fine, has a full year of the system under his belt.
“I think [at this point] Quinn has a better grasp than anyone of what we are trying to do. I think he’s seeing the field more like we want him to see the field, which is how we are seeing the field as a coaching staff. He’s doing good things from that standpoint, getting us in a good place, making good checks. He’s made good decisions for the most part, throwing the ball on time, getting the ball out of his hand quickly, which are all things that are going to help him tremendously. I think the thing he has to work on the most, and he’s improved quite a bit from last fall, is his accuracy. He’s doing a better job. Last fall something tightened up in his back and it really affected his throwing, so he had a bad camp and battled a back issue all fall.
“This spring he’s been a lot better. There are still times where he misses some throws that he’s got to hit, but it’s gotten a lot better and that’s something he is going to continue to have to work on. The other thing that Quinn is very capable of is running the football. He’s a good athlete, is good in the running game by reading the backside ends and making plays with his feet and he’s done a great job of that all spring.”
Mason Fine – SO – 5’11” – 173
Fine started nine games in 2016 and earned All-Freshman recognition from Conference USA. He has also had a good spring, and has clearly developed from his first season. Like Shanbour, Fine provides flexibility in the running game, as his athleticism allows him to not only get out of trouble at times, but allows for quarterback run calls. Fans likely remember his 80-yard touchdown scamper to open the second half at UTSA last October.
“Mason is just getting better and better. He has a year’s worth of reps under his belt and he is doing a lot of good things. He just has to continue to get quicker with the process. He has a great arm, moves well, does a lot of good things, but he’s still young and part of being young is you just have to speed up the process of making the decisions. He usually makes good decisions and good reads, but sometimes he holds the ball too long. He’s gotten better, but that is something he continues to work on, which is getting the ball out of your hand. Seeing the field and understanding where we want to attack them and then attack them quickly. I think that’s where he’s got to work the most.
“As far as talent goes, his talent levels are very high. He’s a good athlete with an unbelievable arm, has lots of pop and is an accurate passer. Throwing ability is not the issue, we just have to continue to speed up the mental side of it for Mason and he’s gotten quicker, but we can still work on that.”
Devlin Isadore – Redshirt JR – 6’4” – 228
Isadore is a junior college transfer from Navarro that looks to jump into competition for a spot on the depth chart this fall. He is still recovering from a knee injury suffered early last season, so was limited somewhat during the spring. That said, he did flash at times during individual and seven-on-seven drills during the spring session.
“Devlin looks the way you want a quarterback to look. He’s a big, strong kid and I wish we could have gotten him into team settings, but unfortunately we just didn’t have that opportunity. He has a really good arm. I think early on in spring, he’d get a little too anxious back there [at times], so he’d get too fast with his feet and kind of get frantic. We’ve really worked on slowing him down, telling him to take a drop, go through your reads, and hit the guy. Talent-wise he has a ton of it. He’s a big kid with a big arm who is super-talented. He is processing better and better every single day. He’s had a ton of one-on-one reps, several seven-on-seven reps, but just hasn’t gotten any during team. He is a great kid to have and he’s been good when he’s had the opportunity to go, it’s just a totally different game when you put 11 out there, so that’s what we are waiting to see with him. He’s done a lot of things that have been encouraging as a coach and a staff, so we are excited to get him out in a team setting, which we will be able to do this fall and see what he can do.”
Cade Pearson – FR – 6’3” – 205
Pearson graduated high school early and enrolled in Denton back in January. After a stellar high school career at Texas High School in Texarkana, Pearson has had a good spring. He has acclimated quickly, and has had some really good moments at times, and there have been some good learning opportunities along the way as well.
“Cade’s done some good things. Cade should be in Texarkana getting ready for prom right now and we have him out there and are throwing him to wolves. Cade is doing good things and just needs to continue to get more comfortable with the offense and as he does, he will get better and better. The interesting thing about Cade is that he’s sometimes better in team than he is in one-on-ones, which is a good thing for a quarterback. You want to be better in team, but one-on-ones are pretty easy drills, while team is a tough one. A lot of times he has better reps in team than in those one-on-ones. That’s encouraging and it seems like the more people that are around him, the better he plays, which is a good quality to have. In team periods he has done a really good job, but again, his biggest issue is that he should be a senior in high school sleeping in till 11 and that kind of deal. Instead, he’s trying to figure out college as a whole and learning a new playbook, so at times he’s swimming out there. At times he gets lost on plays, but for the most part, he’s doing good things and we are very encouraged about the spring he has had. He’s going to continue to develop as he gets bigger and more mature. This summer is going to be big for him getting into the weight room and getting stronger. I don’t think working is an issue for him, he is going to come in and work hard. His talent level is going to be great and he is going to continue to get bigger and more mature. Because of that, he’s got a chance to be really good. It’s been an encouraging spring with him and we will keep working with him. I think the longer he’s here, the better he’ll be. To be a mid-term kid, he’s done a lot of good things.”
Get an up-close look at the Mean Green and the quarterbacks Saturday during the Green-White Scrimmage at 2 p.m. at Apogee Stadium. Admission is free.