LAS VEGAS Juniors Taylor Davis and Dominique Blackman will continue their battle for the starting quarterback job into fall camp after ending spring practice without much separation, Idaho coach Robb Akey said at the WAC football media event Thursday.
Idaho begins fall camp Aug. 3.
Both are competing their tails off. Both want the job in the worst way, Akey said. We will have a capable starter and a strong backup.
Davis (6-foot-3, 233 pounds) started three games last year and played in seven. He completed 28-of-62 passes for 234 yards and one touchdown. Davis joined the program in 2009 out of high school in Arizona.
Blackman (6-foot-5, 255) sat out last season after transferring from Old Dominion. He initially committed to Washington out of high school, but attended Los Angeles Harbor College in 2009 before heading to Old Dominion and then making his way back west. He threw for more than 3,700 yards and 35 touchdowns at L.A. Harbor.
I dont think there is a guy Id rather play for. Both guys are very hungry, wide receiver Mike Scott said. I just want the guy who is going to do the best in delivering the ball and moving the team. Were going to need the guy who is going to bring it.
While they bring similar skills both have strong arms and the ability to escape danger in the pocket, though Davis is a bit better at making plays on the move the quarterbacks are very different off the field. Blackman is always talking and has an outgoing personality. Davis is more reserved.
Akey would like to name a starter by the third scrimmage, but is going to let the competition sort itself out. Senior cornerback Aaron Grymes is fine with that.
As a defensive player, I like to see the competition. I like to see them competing every day, he said. I would rather it play out than make a rushed decision. See who can be greater for a longer period of time. If it takes all fall camp, Im all for it.
VANDALS REMEMBER MCROYAL
Akey, along with players Mike Scott and Aaron Grymes, wore wristbands Thursday to remember wide receiver Ken McRoyal, who was shot and killed on Mothers Day in California.
The wristbands say: Ken McRoyal #86 We Love You with hearts on each side.
This is just a little piece of him that we can take with us wherever we go, said Scott, a receiver who joined the program with McRoyal in 2011. Obviously, were never going to forget him, but this is just a reminder that hes looking down on us, watching us.
If we know we didnt want to do 10 reps in the weight room and we only wanted to do eight, we look at our wristband and pump out those last two because we know that he would and hed be on our head if we didnt.
McRoyal caught six passes for 35 yards in eight games (one start) last season. He earned a scholarship after spring practice. About 25 Idaho players attended his funeral in California.
Theres a lot we want to see get done in Kennys memory, Akey said.
COWAN FOR DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK?
Punter Bobby Cowan, who was named an All-American by the Football Writers Association of America in 2011, could be a candidate for another award this year.
And no, its not the Ray Guy Award, for which Cowan was a semifinalist last season and a member of the preseason watch list this year.
I hope on Sunday Ive got coach (Mark) Criner, my defensive coordinator, coming in my office and saying, Hey, the defensive player of the game needs to be Cowan because he set us up so well,Akey said.
Cowan, a 6-foot-5, 229-pound senior from Washington, was second in the country with a 46.4 yards per kick average in 2011. He punted 88 times and had 32 punts of 50 yards or more, including a 76-yarder and a 71-yarder.