Earlier today Elijah Staley announced that he was finished with basketball.
He sent out a message on the Twitter machine that thanked coach Howland for the opportunity but he was deciding to focus on football. Good decision.
Not that Staley couldn’t have been a productive basketball player, but he has some serious potential at Quarterback. That’s the sport paying for his scholarship and he’s already missed one spring practice because of an injury on the hard court; 2016 will be his sophomore year after two falls on campus – it’s time to get serious about tossing a pigskin.
Staley only got a few reps at QB in 2015 because Nick Fitzgerald took most of the garbage time snaps…..and that’s because Fitz has been at MSU forever, even though he’s in the same class as Elijah.
Fitz has been on campus for three bowl practices and two spring practices, but still has three years of eligibility remaining just as Staley does. So with Damian Williams red-shirting the 2015 season for a better shot at being QB1 at some point in his career at MSU, Nick was the main back-up.
That could all change pretty quickly though. Williams is back and ready to get on the field while Staley has re-affirmed his commitment and focus on the gridiron today. Add in redshirt freshman Nick Tiano and it will be a full-scale battle to be top dawg in 2016.
Staley is Mullen’s guy. He’s got the talent to be in the same sentence with Cam Newton. High praise – but talent only gets you so far so it’s not such high praise just yet. Obviously Staley will have to find a way to get there in that other 90% of the game that makes you a great player.
Right now, here are my odds for QB1 for the first game of the 2016 season:
- Fitz: 5/2 (40%)
- Staley: 3/1 (33%)
- Williams: 4/1 (25%)
- Tiano: 50/1 (2%)
Tiano is a really talented guy, so 2% may not be high enough but I highly doubt he could pass two guys with the experience level of Fitz and Williams…and the talent of Staley who is a year older.
The good news is that even after losing Dak Prescott, MSU appears to be in great shape at the quarterback position….but that’s what we thought about running back going into last year so you never really know.