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


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

Gannett Buys Memphis Commercial Appeal, Knoxville News-Sentinel, Other Newspapers

The Memphis Commercial Appeal and the Knoxville News-Sentinel are among 15 daily newspapers acquired Wednesday by Gannett, which already owns the Nashville Tennessean. That leaves the Chattanooga Times Free Press as the only large daily print newspaper in Tennessee not owned by Gannett, which is also the parent of USA Today. The $280 million purchase from Milwaukee-based ... (click for more)

Haslam Stops By Chattanooga Volkswagen; Says Tennessee "Married" To Troubled Automaker; SUV Line Still Set To Go Forward

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam spoke Wednesday after a mass team meeting with Volkswagen management and workers in an attempt to reassure Chattanoogans that local production is still on schedule and that his office still trusts that the Chattanooga plant is a solid long-term investment, despite the company's ongoing emissions scandal.   He said that legislation have ... (click for more)

Erlanger Settlement Understandable, But Disgusting

Re: Erlanger Reaches Settlement With Former CEO Understandable from a legal liability standpoint but disgusting non the less. Gus Bryan (click for more)

Roy Exum: An Unfortunate Sentence

There was a most unfortunate line in a recent email written to me and, in retrospect, I should not have included it in some examples of the huge response regarding the bicycle lanes now being installed on Broad Street. I’ll admit I misread the line because I feel certain I know what the writer was trying to convey. As a matter of fact, I received enough of an outcry I want to clarify ... (click for more)