(Courtesy Orlando Sentinel)
The Cincinnati Enquirer broke the news today that freshman quarterback Trenton Norvell will be leaving Cincinnati. When he signed with the Bearcats in 2012, the signal caller from Seabreeze High School in Florida appeared to have raw talent to thrive in Butch Jones/Mike Bajakians version of the spread offense. His highlight tape showed a tall quarterback who displayed the arm strength and touch atypical of a player asked to sling the ball around 30 – 40 times a game. But, since the new staff took over it was clear that Bennie Coney, the other quarterback signed in Norvell’s class, was the strongest candidate to be the future at quarterback for the Bearcats. In addition, Tommy Tuberville accepted a transfer from Gunner Kiel. It only created a bigger logjam at the position.
As of now it’s unknown where Norvell will transfer but if I had to place cash money on it I’d predict he will wind up at UConn or Tennessee. Former UC wide receiver’s coach T.J. Weist is now the offensive coordinator for the Huskies. It’s unclear if he’ll bring Jones/Bajakian’s methodology to UConn but if so Norvell would be a strong candidate to lead that offense. Or Norvell could simply go play for Butch again down in Knoxville. Tennessee will be replacing Tyler Bray and with the new staff installing a brand new offense, the quarterback position is a very much up for grabs. Even though Norvell would have to sit out a year, his experience in the system could give him a leg up in 2014.
Of course, Norvell could wind up doing what most players do and that’s transfer to a school close to his home in Florida. It’s really anyone’s guess at this point.
But what is clear is that after the 2013 season, the Cincinnati Bearcats will be razor thin at the quarterback position. With Brendon Kay and Munchie Legaux graduating next Spring there will be exactly 3 quarterbacks on the roster; Bennie Coney, Gunner Kiel, and Tucker Tuberville. As of now the staff hasn’t received a commitment from a player at this position yet in the 2014 class. The good news is that it’s waaaaay too early to start worrying. Still, quarterback is officially one of the most critical positions of need in the 2014 class.