UTC Football: Battle of the Quarterbacks

Bennifield and Roberson Working for No.2 Spot

Thursday, August 14, 2014 - by B.B. Branton

Junior Jacob Huesman is the returning starting quarterback for the UTC Mocs, but there is a battle for the number two spot.

A pair of redshirt freshman QBs - Alejandro Bennifield and Tyler Roberson  - are working each day of pre-season practice to display their talents as UTC head football coach Russ Huesman and offensive coordinator Jeff Durden will most likely make the decision on the back-up signal caller a few days prior to the season opener at Central Michigan (Thursday, August 28).

A look at the Two Quarterbacks

No. 15 Alejandro Bennifield … 6-2, 215 … Age: 19 (turns 20 on Oct 16, two days before The Citadel game) … Lovejoy (Ga.) High School … 4,000 passing yards and 40 TDs his last two years

No. 17 Tyler Roberson … 6-4, 210 … Age: 20 … Augusta (Ga.) Christian … 5,700 career passing yards and 49 TDs

Similarities - redshirt freshmen … 2-star recruits out of Georgia high schools … both attended UTC’s summer camp prior to their senior year of high school which was a key factor in them choosing to play for the Mocs.

Differences – Roberson throws right, Bennifield is a lefty (yet writes and eats with his right hand) … Roberson (pronounced ROB-er-son) is a business management major, while Bennifield is studying computer science.

What Needs to Improve

Bennifield - “I need to be more of a leader and be able to earn the respect of the older players.”

Roberson – “I feel I have good leadership skills and can run the ball well, but need to improve my arm strength.”

Honors: Bennifield was two-time all-region in football at Lovejoy and led his team to a pair of state runner-up finishes.

Roberson led Augusta Christian to the South Carolina Independent Schools AAA state championship in 2012. “That was a lot of fun and a dream come true to win a state title.”

What Most People Don’t Know

Alejandro Bennifield – was sixth in the state in the discus (160 feet) as a senior at Lovejoy HS

Tyler Roberson … his dad has three siblings and each of those four has four kids; the oldest is 30 and the youngest (Tyler’s youngest brother) is 12 ...  Tyler is 20.

“Growing up we never had a problem finding someone to play with,” Roberson said with a smile. “We played a lot of tackle football (no pads) growing up which made us tough.”

What’s Next:  The second of two pre-season scrimmages is Friday at Finley Stadium (3 p.m.) and both QBs will have a chance to show what they can do in game-type situations.

Stats From Scrimmage 8-9-14

Quarterbacks

Jacob Huesman – 9/16, 105 yards, TD, INT
Alejandro Bennifield – 6/14, 92 yards
Tyler Roberson – 3/6, 40 yards
Xavier Johnson – 0-2, INT


PHOTOS: East Hamilton Notches Dramatic Win Over Walker Valley

Covenant Drops Pair To No. 9 Emory

Playing against one of the top Division III teams in the country, the Covenant softball team was unable to get anything going against two top pitchers and succumbed to No. 9 Emory 14-0 and 9-1 in a doubleheader Tuesday. The games drop Covenant to 9-13 on the year and continues a losing streak that now stands at six games in a row. Emory is now 24-2 for the season and have won ... (click for more)

Tennessee Broadband Expansion Bill Sought By EPB Put On Hold For Now

Advocates for broadband expansion in Tennessee, including Chattanooga's EPB, announced Tuesday that efforts to extend community-based fiber optic networks are being placed on hold for now "because there is not enough support among state lawmakers to change a state regulation that prevents the expansion of municipal fiber optic systems." EPB earlier won a ruling from the Federal ... (click for more)

Haslam Adds K-12 Funds In Budget Amendment

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam on Tuesday unveiled additions to the FY 2015-2016 budget that will be considered by the General Assembly in the coming weeks, including added funding for K-12. The governor last week met with school superintendents from the largest systems in the state over the issue of state funding for K-12. The next day, the Hamilton County Schools joined ... (click for more)

Physicians Thank Their Patients On Doctor’s Day

March 30 has been set aside as National Doctors’ Day since 1933 as a time to recognize the contributions made by our physicians. While the recognition is appreciated, our greatest satisfaction comes from caring for our patients.  For 132 years, the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Medical Society has been the physicians’ voice as we worked together to improve health of our community. ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Look At My April Garden

On this April Fool’s Day, as I take my monthly stroll through my virtual garden, there are gorgeous flowers and there are weeds, which appear to be trying harder than the flowers. So let’s see what we find before searching for “The Prize Egg” on Sunday. A FLOWER to the New York cab driver who told a young writer, “Always remember that everyone you meet knows something that you ... (click for more)