VIDEO: Brock Pursley Interview
After three years, 26 wins and a pair of playoff appearances, De'Andre Thomas has graduated as Carson-Newman's starting signal-caller. The position could fall into the hands of Noah Suber (Asheville, N.C.). Suber enters his senior season after three years as Thomas' backup.
"Noah's the only one that has any game experience whatsoever," Pursley said. "After him, we have a bunch of really good athletes behind him who can throw it, run it and who play the game smartly. It'll be good open competition. Even though Noah has the experience, it's not guaranteed for him."
Suber had his most productive campaign as a junior, appearing in seven games with significant playing time against the University of the Cumberlands, Brevard and Limestone.
Suber rushed 35 times for 162 yards and four scores while completing 11 of 19 passes for 288 yards and four more touchdowns. His best game both on the ground and through the air came against Brevard. He completed all five of his passes that day for 100 yards and a 53-yard TD to Lonnie Williams. He also carried the ball 12 times for 104 yards and two scores.
"Noah is one of the most coachable guys out there," Pursley said. "If he keeps doing what he's doing, he'll be fine. Noah is different from Dre in that he (Noah) gets all the option reads right. De'Andre, his athleticism took over and he was able to make plays, even though he didn't make the right read. He and Dre both have cannons and have a lot of similarity in the passing game."
As for the who is closest to Suber in the chase for the starting job, well, it's wide open. Tyson Herron (Bogart, Ga.). Herron's older brother Boom was an all-conference quarterback for the Lenoir-Rhyne Bears. He nearly mirrors former Carson-Newman quarterback Toby Slagle, who also had a brother who played for L-R.
Tanner Cox (Gatlingburg, Tenn.) also reenters the fray at QB after breaking his collarbone last season. A third generation Eagle, Cox's father Allen won three national championships in the 80s with C-N.
"We have a ton of guys competing with Noah. Tyson and Tanner don't have game experience, but they've been here and know the playbook plus how we operate," Pursley said. "We have a bunch of freshman who could push for that backup job and push Noah for that starting job. It's about who can get out there in 11-on-11 and get us in the right play every time."
Carson-Newman football's position previews resume Tuesday with C-N's defensive line and assistant coach Anthony Toribio.