Lets take a look at the quarterback situation at NMSU this season with fall practice less than three weeks away.
Do the Aggies need a quarterback that sets the night on fire? No. They need one who can be a leader, move the chains and not make a ton of mistakes. It sounds simple, but finding the right one often provides its challenges.
It's a toss up between three players: Junior college transfer Jeff Fleming, redshirt freshman Trevor Walls and true freshman Tanner Rust.
Fleming and Walls seem to have the inside track, simply because they are a bit more seasoned. Fleming is mobile, Walls is a better pocket passer. Walls was recruited by Hal Mumme, who really liked the quarterback's ability last fall and was excited about his potential. Walls stands at 6-foot-5, 207 pounds. I thought during spring ball that he looked like the better of the two QBs.
Fleming is more athletic and can move outside of the pocket. He can gain yards on the ground after leaving the line of scrimmage. Do the Aggies prefer his athleticism? Maybe so, but he was more erratic than Walls throwing the ball during spring work.
Rust is intriguing. He is a great athlete who comes highly touted out of San Diego. Coach DeWayne Walker said that Rust would compete for time during fall practice but that redshirting remained a possibility. I would say yes, he will redshirt, unless he simply outplays both QBs during fall practice and his ability is impossible for the staff to ignore this season. But don't forget this about the Aggies: This year, in many respects, is one of rebuilding. As much as fans don't want to use that word, this team is not as talented as some of its conference counterparts. What's the point of throwing the freshman into the fire when it will likely be a tough year regardless? You want your quarterback of the future playing his best years when the team is on the rise, not wasting a season when things are in transition.
I think we will see a two-quarterback system for much of the year. Fleming and Walls can both do different things well and can give defenses a different look. Is it ideal? No. The hope is that one takes over the reigns and leads the team. We will keep close tabs during fall practices.