Florida International U

‘May the best man win:’ A look at the 2 quarterbacks battling for the FIU starting job

FIU coach Butch Davis during the team’s first practice of the 2018 season at FIU’s on-campus practice field Friday, August 3, 2018.
FIU coach Butch Davis during the team’s first practice of the 2018 season at FIU’s on-campus practice field Friday, August 3, 2018. Erua@miamiherald.com

Among Miami’s three Division I or NFL teams, there is only one battle for the starting job at quarterback, and the clock is ticking on that fight.

While the Miami Dolphins and Miami Hurricanes have picked their passers, FIU Panthers coach Butch Davis and his staff are intently analyzing and evaluating every move made by QB candidates Christian Alexander and James Morgan.

Davis said he needs to make his decision 7-to-10 days before FIU’s season opener against visiting Indiana on Sept. 1.That means we should find out who Davis has chosen sometime next week, and neither QB is shrinking from the battle.

“Competition makes everyone better,” Alexander said. “May the best man win.”

Choosing that “best man” will ultimately be up to Davis, who has two interesting options.

Morgan, a graduate transfer who spent three years at Bowling Green, passing for 3,342 yards in 18 games, seems like the most likely choice. His new FIU teammates have raved about arm strength, and he has a significant experience edge over Alexander, who has yet to start a college game.

Alexander, however, has the advantage of having had a full year in Davis’ system.

One thing for sure: The competition between Morgan andA lexander has been heated but friendly so far this fall.

“Christian has been here for a long time, and he has experience in the offense,” Morgan said. “He’s helped me, pointing out [defensive] looks that are confusing at first and how to handle those.”

Morgan, who needed just three years to graduate from Bowling Green as a pre-law major, spent much of this past spring and summer watching every 2017FIU game, multiple times each. He also watched FIU spring practices.

He has prepared himself to make the transition from Bowling Green’s “Air Raid” spread offense to FIU’s pro-style attack.

“I pride myself on being ready,” Morgan said, “watching film and going out and executing.”

Davis said Morgan and Alexander are alternating practice reps with the first and second teams.

There is also the chance that these two quarterbacks will continue to rotate “for the first couple of games”, Davis said.

Overall, Alexander has impressed his coaches with his team-first attitude.

“I can’t say enough about his character and integrity,helping James the way he has,” Davis said. “And James, to have graduate in just three years, is extraordinarily smart.

“By the time Sept 1 comes around, if James is the guy, I think he will be ready to handle anything that we would give him in terms of the playbook.”

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