Three quarterbacks will compete to replace Nick Arbuckle as Georgia State’s quarterback when its spring practices begin March 24.
Arbuckle was named the Sun Belt Conference student-athlete of the year after passing for more than 4,300 yards and leading the Panthers to their first bowl.
The three most likely candidates to compete for the starting job are: Conner Manning, a transfer from Utah, redshirt sophomore Emiere Scaife and redshirt freshman Aaron Winchester.
We will continue a series of quarterback Q&A’s with Manning.
I asked each of the quarterbacks (mostly) the same questions. They are designed to give you a glimpse of them on the field and off the field.
Q: What is your goal for the spring practices?
A: For me, stepping up and becoming a leader. Doing whatever it takes to get better for myself and the team.
Q: Describe how you have improved because of the winter workouts.
A: Workouts have been going really well. I’m in a lot better shape since I’ve gotten here. Building chemistry with the guys, the wide receivers. The whole team has been been great. Excited to get on the field and put some pads.
Q: You team is down by six with the ball on your opponent’s 15-yard line and six seconds left. What’s the route and the result?
A: Going to have throw some sort of seam or anything, depending upon the coverage, over the middle or outside, give my receiver a chance no mater what.
I love throwing deep, a go ball up the seam or splitting safeties to a tight end.
Q: What is your least favorite route?
A: Don’t’ think there are too many least favorites. Building chemistry with the guys. Being on the same page is the most important part. I will do whatever it takes for the team. If that means throwing a bubble or slant over the middle, whatever it takes to get the job done.
Q: Which teammate are you most looking forward to seeing this spring?
A: I’m building good chemistry with Penny Hart and Robert Davis, two really great players for the program last year. Rob’s been here for a couple of years and has made his mark. Keith Rucker, Ari (Werts) and a lot of the young wide receivers are a very talented group. I’m really excited to work with all of them.
Q: What’s your strength as a quarterback?
A: Game managing on the field. Coach the players out there, making sure everything is always positive. We will go through adversity in the game, making sure guys will stay up through the next series and get the job done.
Q: What do you need to work on?
A: Still want to build more physically, those types of attributes are something I’m really looking forward to. I’m still learning the offense have only been here a month. That’s still going well. Becoming a more vocal leader. Earn the guys respect from my play on the field and how I am off the field.
Q: Who will win the presidential election?
A: If I had to guess, I’ll say (Donald) Trump because of the whole new excitement he brings to the candidacy.
Q: Do you remember your first touchdown?
A: I think it was when I was playing flag football when I was third grade. I was playing running back at the time. I broke one 80 yards on my first drive.
Q: What was your celebration?
A: I’m sure it was something about celebrating with the guys.
Q: First touchdown pass?
A: Probably in that same game. A little boot leg, threw it to a tight end. He broke a tackle and scored from about 20 yards out.
Q: Why did you leave Utah and come to Georgia State?
A: I knew for about the whole season when I was at Utah that I was planning on leaving. I had already received my degree (sociology). I was just helping the team in whatever way I could. Now, I’m working on masters in sports administration.
I knew I was going to get my release. Right when I got my release, coach (Luke) Huard gave me a call. He offered me on the first phone call I had. He has contacts with a lot of coaches with Utah.
Q: What happened at Utah?
A: Coaching changes, strategies kind of changed. they were looking for more of a dual-threat quarterback. Frankly, that’s no what I am. I loved everything about Utah, and the coaches. At the end of day I had to do what was best.
Q: Are you enjoying Atlanta?
A: I had never been to the South. It’s very different for me just being in downtown Atlanta. I grew up in suburbs in Orange County. Salt Lake City is nowhere near as big of a downtown.
Q: Any trouble understanding people?
A: Some of the guys have nice little accents.
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