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



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