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Jon Sumrall’s first fall camp practice as the Troy football head coach included the start of yet another quarterback tussle for junior Gunnar Watson.
The more things change, the more they stay the same.
“It’s been like that for three years, I’m used to it,” Watson said in a practice report from the Troy media relations department. “It’s nice to have someone to compete with you, so you don’t get lackadaisical. You’re always out here competing.”
This year’s quarterback competition features Watson and Utah transfer Peter Costelli. Watson is entering his fifth college season and has 16 starts over the past two years. He’s thrown for 3,888 yards and 24 touchdowns in his Troy career. Costelli, a former four-star recruit out of Mission Viejo High in Southern California, was a redshirt in his lone season at Utah.
“It was good working with the team and being out here, it's been a while,” Costelli said. “I'm happy to be back on the field. Gunnar is a really good quarterback. I think our whole QB room is really solid. Coach always says we're not competing against each other, we're competing with each other. We're always helping each other, I'm always asking him questions, and he's teaching me a lot.”
Sumrall gave his overall assessment of the quarterbacks when asked about that position.
“I thought early, they all threw it pretty good, especially the team run and play action pass period, where we got some shots behind the defense a little bit,” Sumrall said. “I thought we threw the ball, as a group, better early than we did sometimes in the spring. That lacked consistency later in practice. That was nice to see. Gunnar, I think has improved his body as a whole and his arm has gotten a little bit better as well. Peter is throwing it good. The thing that Peter does that probably jumps out is he can really run. He’s got some things he does a little different. And then working Quayde (Hawkins) off his little nagging deal he’s got shouldn’t be much longer. And then Tucker Kilcrease did some good things, too.”
Overall, Sumrall said it was a solid first day for his team.
“I really thought we came out to the practice field, early, and looked like a football team from an organizational standpoint and just being crisp,” Sumrall said. “Some of that comes from our guys have been around us long enough now as a staff to understand the flow and the rhythm of how we want things to happen. I thought we faded a little bit at the end of practice. We got to finish cleaner, finish stronger. All in all, I thought we got a lot of good work in today.”
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