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Samford began fall camp on Monday with the tussle for the starting quarterback position between junior college transfer Michael Hiers and University of Kentucky transfer Nick Scalzo one of the bigger storylines.

“Hiers came out of the spring, just a tad bit ahead of Scalzo, but it’s a battle,” said Samford head coach Chris Hatcher. “There are two guys now getting equal reps. We gave up a couple pressures with the second group, which Nick was running with today. (Tuesday) we’ll kind of flip those guys and see how they will do with the other group. I think they both did some good things. I think they both have a good knowledge of the offense. The big thing is just trying to find the pieces to put around them.”

Hiers began his college career before transferring to Northwest Mississippi Community College, where he threw for 4,519 yards and 34 touchdowns in 18 games over two seasons. He played high school football at Briarwood Christian, leading his team to the Class 5A state championship game as a senior. Scalzo, who is from Fort Lauderdale, played in just one game at Kentucky in three seasons. He was one of three quarterbacks featured on the Netflix series, “QB1: Beyond the Lights,” as a high school senior.

In other fall camp news:

*UAB took its first step toward the 2022 season on Monday with the first fall camp practice under interim head coach Bryant Vincent.

“The biggest thing is I want us to continue to grow and build as a team, daily,” Vincent said following the practice in shorts and helmets. “I don’t think this team is built yet. We can continue to lay bricks daily. If you are just talking about offense, one thing exciting to see is who is going to replace Hayden Pittman and Gerrit Prince. Who is going to step up at the tight end position? Because really, we have eight starters back, and those are two guys that we lost, so we want to see who will step up and take that tight end position.”

Terrell McDonald is penciled in as one of the starters right now. The 6-foot-6, 245-pound Maleak Bryant, who has been injured often while at UAB is an intriguing option at the position. Bryce Damous saw some game action last season.

Another position to watch on offense is up front. Four starters return in tackles Kadeem Telfort and Sidney Wells, guard Matthew Trehern and center Will Rykard. However, there is still work to do in figuring out what the rotation will look like.

One strength of the offensive line since 2017 is the presence of versatile linemen who can switch positions if injuries dictate. Last season, for example, Andrew Smith moved between center and guard and Colby Ragland slid between guard and tackle. Who will fill that role this season?

To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email steve.irvine@1819news.com.

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