Starting quarterback to ideally be determined two weeks before season opener

Coach Geoff Collins and his staff are evaluating four quarterbacks heading into preseason.

Freshman quarterback Todd Centeio (right), is chased downfield by redshirt-junior linebacker Zach Mesday during the Cherry and White game at Chodoff Field on April 22. | JAMIE COTTRELL / FILE PHOTO

Temple has yet to name its starting quarterback for the 2017 season.

The four candidates for the job are redshirt junior Frank Nutile, redshirt sophomore Logan Marchi, redshirt freshman Anthony Russo and freshman Todd Centeio. One of them will have to fill the shoes of Phillip Walker, who holds the record for the most wins in program history.

But on Media Day Monday, offensive coordinator Dave Patenaude gave an ideal target for when he would like to determine who will be under center for the season opener in South Bend, Indiana against the University of Notre Dame on Sept. 2.

“Well, I think, you know, we’d like to be two weeks out when we name a starter,” Patenaude said. “By that time, we start getting more into the Notre Dame game plan than the general game plan for camp. So usually two weeks out, we’d like to get in …and get into some team stuff.”

One of the biggest challenges for Temple’s coaching staff is evaluating four players who don’t have much game experience at the collegiate level. The two who do have game experience, Nutile and Marchi, have combined for 11 total passing attempts.

Russo redshirted last season and Centeio was an early enrollee in the spring.

Patenaude said each potential quarterback offers a different skillset, and he plans to play to the strengths of whoever becomes the starting quarterback. But he added Centeio would bring a different element to the offense than his other three competitors for the job.

“If he ended up being the quarterback, you would have a wider range of plays that you could call based on the fact that he would be a great option runner with the ball,” Patenaude said.

“Conversely, can he handle all of the run checks? Can he handle himself in front of 72,000 people?” he added, referring to Centeio. “So those are the balances you have to weigh with a young quarterback. I would say for a guy who really hasn’t taken a fall camp snap yet, he’s way ahead of where a lot of guys are. So he is a viable option.”

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