The Troy Trojans quarterback situation has Chip Lindsey having to make a big decision before the start of the 2020 season. With Kaleb Barker gone due to graduation, the Trojans will be led by a new signal-caller. Jacob Free, Gunnar Watson, and Gavin Screws will all battle it out for the starting role.
Though college football is on a halt due to the coronavirus, the Trojans’ outlook at quarterback can still be assessed. Once practice starts back, Lindsey and his team can move closer to naming a starter before the season begins.
Troy Trojans Quarterback Situation
The Troy Trojans have a big question on the offensive side of the ball for 2020. Who replaces Barker at quarterback? For an offense that ranked ninth in the FBS in passing offense, Lindsey and his team know they can improve.
Last season, the Trojans went 316-of-491 for 3,758 yards with 30 passing touchdowns and 11 interceptions. Barker was one of the better signal-callers in the Sun Belt. Troy now has to replace the graduated senior, and they have options at the position.
Free transferred to Troy from Vanderbilt University. He redshirted during the 2017 season and had no stats with the Commodores. Coming out of high school, Free finished with 7, 367 yards with 95 touchdowns and 19 interceptions. The redshirt junior can lead the Trojans and fits into Lindsey’s systematic scheme.
The 6’5″ 220-pound junior signal-caller passed for 2,036 yards with 14 touchdowns and four interceptions at Northwest Mississippi Community College. He was rated as a three-star prospect by 247Sports.
Free is a pro-style passer, which fits the Trojans’ system perfectly. Troy isn’t usually known to have great rushing quarterbacks. The junior can amount for a lot of success in his final two seasons of his collegiate career.
Watson played in two games in 2018 as a freshman for the Trojans. The 6’3″ signal-caller from Butler, Georgia completed 8-of-12 passes for 45 yards in two games. Now a junior, Watson can make a case to be the starter during fall camp.
Screws, a redshirt freshman from Jacksonville, Florida, was a highly-touted prospect during high school. He saw no action in 2019 as he took a redshirt. Going into the spring, Screws has been highly talked about for the Trojans.
Replacing Barker is going to be a tough challenge for a rebuilding Troy Trojans team. With six quarterbacks on the roster, the Trojans have depth at the position. But, not all of those players may stick around. Once fall camp rolls around, Lindsey could see one or two of the signal-callers take their careers elsewhere.
Troy’s quarterback situation will likely drag into late fall camp. Once things go back to normal and the players can practice again, Lindsey and his staff will have a better idea of which quarterback will best fit their starting role. For a team that is in rebuild mode, putting the right leader under center is crucial. After finishing 5-7 last season, the Trojans are in a win-now situation. Though Lindsey will have more than one season to right the ship, allowing the best player to lead the way will be a program-changing decision for the second-year head coach.