Hawks confident in Taylor at quarterback

Senior Chip Taylor will step in at quarterback to lead the Huntingdon offense this season.
Senior Chip Taylor will step in at quarterback to lead the Huntingdon offense this season.

Head Coach Mike Turk on the final practice before classes start: "We're starting to zero in on the guys who need to be getting reps and need to be getting in game shape. Most of the remaining questions should start clearing up in the next day or so. We're going to give them Monday off for the start of classes, practice on Tuesday and scrimmage on Wednesday. The scrimmage will be our last full speed work before we get ready to play, so it's an important couple of days coming up."

Position Spotlight – Quarterback

Projected Starter: Chip Taylor (Sr.)

Others to Watch: Preston Samoden (So.), Blaise Schillace (So.), Michael Lambert (Fr.)

A Closer Look: Huntingdon graduated four senior quarterbacks, including three-year starter Luke Bailey. In his final season, Bailey was named second-team All-Region, USA South Offensive Player of the Year and rewrote most of the Hawks' career passing records.

This season, Huntingdon will be relying on senior Chip Taylor to step in and run the offense. Taylor has been in the program since his freshman season and has a strong command of the offense.

Behind Taylor, sophomores Preston Samoden and Blaise Schillace are battling for the backup position. Freshman Michael Lambert has also impressed the coaches in the preseason.

Turk on Taylor stepping into the starting role: "Chip has been here three years and he knows the offense from front to back, he just hasn't had the opportunity to play as much. He has had a pretty good preseason so far. He has made some mistakes, but most of those mistakes are working themselves out with more reps. He knows our offense and he is getting better every day we go out there."

Turk on expectations for Taylor: "Chip and I talked about this last spring. It's not about trying to live up to a standard of what previous quarterbacks have done or anything like that. It's about playing the position and executing plays. Whoever our quarterback is, we always tailor our offense to his strengths. Chip is our guy and we're going to play to his strengths. We're still going to run the same offense, but we're going to try and make the offense fit him and his strengths."

Turk on depth at quarterback: "We're still trying to find someone behind Chip who can go in and run our offense effectively. We have two guys (Samoden and Schillace) who are getting reps and who are getting better, but they are not there yet. We're getting to the point where we are going to have to start making some decisions, so we'll see what happens in the next few days.

"Lambert is probably the leader among the freshmen. He is doing some good things but he is still making a lot of mistakes. He has a good arm and looks like he can run a little bit, but he has so much to learn about the offense. But he is learning and hopefully he will continue to improve."

Next Practice: Huntingdon will take Monday off for the first day of classes before returning to the field on Tuesday afternoon. The Hawks will hold their final preseason scrimmage on Wednesday at 4 p.m. Practices are open to the public.

2017 NCAA Playoff Information
November 13, 2017 2017 NCAA Playoff Information