Bronco Mendenhall had the luxury of having some stable quarterback options to work with running his offense at BYU, but in his first season at Virginia, he will see a quarterback competition continue after the spring. As is typically the case at a number of college football programs once the spring season concludes, there is as much uncertainty at the quarterback situation as any at Virginia.
“Our quarterback situation right now has not revealed itself,” said offensive coordinator Robert Anae, according to The Free Lance-Star. “So we’re going to continue to go into fall camp, and it may take all of fall camp before we get to the bottom of it.”
The two main competitors for the starting job for the Cavaliers are Matt Johns and Connor Brewer. Johns handled the majority of the offensive responsibilities last season, leading the offense with mixed results. Johns opened the spring as Virginia’s first-string quarterback but wrapped up with him seeing split duties with Brewer, a former Texas Longhorn and Arizona Wildcat.
“Matt was the returning starter and he started practice that way, taking the first reps,” said quarterbacks coach Jason Beck. “But then as we went on, Connor was playing really well. So we just split up the reps, made an even competition and they went after it every day that way.”
Each quarterback has their strengths and weaknesses depending on the style of offensive play calling, so whichever style ends up being the way Mendenhall and the Virginia staff choose to roll with could determine which player gets the nod. Brewer could be more of an ideal fit if Virginia chooses to take to the air with a more pass-heavy attack, but Johns could be the go-to guy should the Cavaliers look to keep things a bit more balanced and grounded if he can improve his decision-making and cut down on turnovers.
Virginia’s first game of the 2016 season is at home against FCS Richmond, which could be an opportunity to give each quarterback a live audition in a real game situation.