Cameron, Sousa Battling for Starting QB Spot
April 10, 2014
By Emma Lingan, WakeForestSports.com
With a combined 24 attempts in their careers, Tyler Cameron and Kevin Sousa have never truly been at the forefront of the Demon Deacon offense. This spring, however, all eyes are on the two quarterbacks to see who will gain the advantage for the starting nod in 2014.
As the offensive puzzle pieces continue to fall into place, first-year head coach Dave Clawson has said that he is not yet in a position to make a decision regarding the team's starting quarterback for the 2014 season. For now, his main priority is making sure Cameron and Sousa get as many snaps as they can during spring practice.
"They're both learning the new offense, and they're both working hard," Clawson said. "We're seeing incremental improvement with those guys every day."
Now in their third week of spring practice, Cameron and Sousa are both gaining confidence as they continue to get more snaps on the field.
"It's going well so far," Sousa said. "I'm just learning the offense and progressing each day."
Given that he Demon Deacons lost a four-year starter in Tanner Price after the 2013 season, spring practice is a key opportunity for Cameron and Sousa to showcase their abilities in an attempt to clinch Price's former spot.
"It's very important," Cameron said. "I've got to get a lot of reps in. A lot of learning's going on here right now, so it will definitely kick-start me for summer camp and lead me into fall."
Despite the uncertainties that accompany the arrival of a new coaching staff, both quarterbacks quelled any fears about their abilities to cope with the change. "Everything they've brought in so far that's different--the strength program, practices, the way they coach--I just feel more comfortable with it, and I feel at home," Sousa said.
Due to the Demon Deacons' reliance on Price during the past four years, the coaches have had very little to evaluate on film before seeing Cameron and Sousa play in person. Clawson described the hands-on experience during practice as "critical" in assessing each player's ability.
"So much of the quarterback position isn't just how they throw the ball or how they run the ball, but what intangibles they bring," Clawson said. "Their competitiveness, how they respond to a bad play--that's all part of playing the position. There's nothing that compares to being out on the practice field with them and watching them every snap."
Cameron, who saw action as a backup in 2013 season in Wake Forest's losses to Clemson (Sept. 28) and Florida State (Nov. 9), plans to use his recent experience to his advantage during spring practice.
"I wouldn't call it a game situation because it's not like the game was on the line, but it was definitely good experience," Cameron said. "I got to play against Florida State, which is probably the best team I'll ever get to play against. There was a lot of learning that went down in that game and a lot of experience gained from that, so it definitely gives me a leg up."
Cameron is looking to improve in a number of areas, particularly in getting the game slowed down and under his control.
"We've plotted a lot of stuff in the last couple of days so it's kind of happening fast," Cameron said. "But as it slows down I'm just picking up blitzes and things like that. Once I get that down, it's going to be sweet."
The coaching staff has spent much of the past two weeks testing players at several different positions to determine the best way forward, but the constant juggling has left Cameron and Sousa unfazed.
"We're all comfortable with each other and I feel like we can play with each other," Sousa said. "So that's not a big issue at all."
They may be passing to a relatively inexperienced receiving corps as well as lacking in-game experience themselves, but Cameron and Sousa are each taking these challenges in stride in the pursuit of the starting position in 2014.
"It's exciting," Cameron said. "I can't wait. I'm trying to put myself in a good position to be the guy next year, so I've just got to keep working hard and learning from these coaches and put myself in that position."