By Clinton Dick
Three years ago senior quarterbacks Jordan Barrett and Brady May were thrown into the mix in a year where there were six quarterbacks on the roster. Of those six, five were freshmen, including both players.
“I just remember it being really intense,” said Barrett. “Not only were we learning a new offense, but everything you did every day in practice was graded. It was just a lot to take in at one time.”
Barrett won the starting job that year, leading the football team to three wins, two more than the previous year. May was redshirted and did not take a snap.
Barrett’s sophomore season, however, didn’t end on an upbeat note. On Sept. 25, 2010 in a conference game at the University of Saint Mary in Leavenworth, Barrett broke his leg in action, ending his season. May was left to take over at quarterback.
“It wasn’t exciting when he went down,” said May. “It was exciting to play because it was something I had been working for.”
May finished out the rest of the season, throwing for 693 yards and five touchdowns. May also proved his mobility, carrying the ball for 211 yards and three touchdowns.
“Brady is a little more of a running quarterback,” said Ken Crandall, head football coach. “He has an advantage with his athleticism.”
Barrett won the starting job again the following year, but each quarterback got reps during games. May won the starting position midway through the season.
Now, both are fourth-year quarterbacks and leaders on the team. The ongoing battle for the starting quarterback job continues between two competitive players, but it is a fight between friends.
“The unique part about the two of them is the friendship that they have and the competition that they have,” said Crandall. “They compete and they compete hard, but there is not one time that when someone misses a read or makes a mistake that they won’t talk about it. They are there to help each other out.”
Crandall said in his 15 years as a head coach and 21 years as a quarterback coach he has never had a better quarterback competition than the one between his two veteran leaders.
“No matter who starts, they are both quality people,” said Crandall.
The two also share a quality friendship. May said they competition doesn’t stop after practice.
“We are two very competitive people,” said May. “Even off the field everything is a competition whether we are playing ping pong, basketball or golf.”
May also said that both he and Barrett understand the importance of outward thinking when competing for the starting job.
“The thing that is unique is that we really are friends and we look out for each other,” said May. “We both understand that it is about the team and not about me or him starting.”
The team plays their next game at home at 6 p.m. Sept. 8 against Bethel College. Crandall has high hopes for both quarterbacks regardless of who wins the position.
“My expectation is, whichever one wins the job takes the team to the next level,” said Crandall. “My expectation of the guy who doesn’t win the job is to help the guy who won the job to take the team to the next level.”
Both May and Barrett said the team always makes it a goal to win a Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference championship and move Southwestern up in the conference. Barrett also added that Crandall has been a big part of helping them striving to achieve goals.
“He has been huge in our development and working with us,” said Barrett. “He is a jerk when he needed to and letting us know that the cares about us when he needed to.”
Though the competition rages on, one thing is for certain. The leader of the team will be in the hands of a veteran player.
Clinton Dick is a senior majoring in convergent journalism. You may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.