2010 Penn Football Preview: Quarterbacks

Previous Previews: Offensive Line (8/6) | Tight Ends (8/9) | Defensive Line (8/11)
Running Backs (8/13)
| Defensive Backs (8/16) | Wide Receivers (8/19) | Linebackers (8/22)

PHILADELPHIA - Leading up to Penn Football's first day of preseason practice on Aug. 24, the Penn Sports Network and PennAthletics.com will provide an in-depth look into the 2010 Penn Quakers. Each position will be previewed with analysis, a preseason depth chart and an interview with the position coach.

This installment of Penn Football's Preseason Position Previews involves a glimpse into the 2010 quarterbacks and an interview with quarterbacks coach Larry Woods.

A full discussion with the position coach:

Penn Sports Network anchor Dan Fritz sat down with quarterbacks coach Larry Woods last week to discuss the status of the position heading into preseason practices. Click the above link to see the full interview or visit the Penn Sports Network multimedia page by clicking here.

A look at who is listed at this position entering the preseason:

Ryan Becker QB 6-0 205 Fr. Davie, Fla. (St. Thomas Aquinas)
19 Ryan Brog QB 6-4 215 Jr. Denver, Colo. (Mullen)
14 Keiffer Garton QB 6-2 200 Sr. Castle Rock, Colo. (Douglas County)
Tyler Hamilton QB 6-1 190 Fr. Wycombe, Pa. (Council Rock North)
6 Andrew Holland QB 6-2 200 So. Willoughby, Ohio (St. Ignatius)
17 John Hurley QB 6-3 200 Jr. Cincinnati, Ohio (St. Xavier)
10 Billy Ragone QB 6-1 190 So. Chesire, Conn. (Cheshire)

A PennAthletics.com preview of what and who to expect at this position:

Penn's recent calamities at the quarterback position have been well documented. Four different players took snaps from under center in each of the last two seasons - a total of six different players in all (Robert Irvin, Keiffer Garton, Kyle Olson, John Hurley, Billy Ragone and Brendan McNally). Excluding McNally, who was moved to defensive back as a junior before being pushed back to quarterback for emergency relief duty, all of them suffered debilitating injuries at some point. No one could have expected that the Quakers would be down to their fourth-string signal-caller two years in a row - even running back Bradford Blackmon and wide receiver Kyle Derham completed passes in that time - but the question now will be whether the Red and Blue will have to worry about such an occurance for a third straight season.

Unfortunately, there may already be a need for depth at quarterback. Junior John Hurley is one of the many Penn signal-callers in the last half decade to suffer from repeated injuries and it looks like he may not be a part of the 2010 campaign. He'll be one of the few QB's on the roster whom the Quaker faithful won't see on the field this season. Injuries or not, Penn has too many threats to put at the position to have just one man taking all the snaps.

Keiffer Garton was voted as one of four team captains this season and his leadership has been highly touted by coaches, staff and players alike. His arm injuries made him more one dimensional last season yet he still finished second on the team with 500 yards of total offense and 400 yards passing. Now an offseason injury will probably keep him off the field during preseason, so he'll still have to work his way back to his 2008 form where in three starts, he was twice named the Ivy League Offensive Player of the Week.

In the meantime, Billy Ragone is said to be 100 percent after a collarbone injury forced him to miss the last seven games of 2009. Ragone played just a few snaps in the season opener last year, but saw significant time at Dartmouth before the injury. Penn fans saw the flashes of his potential in those three quarters. In fact, he earned Ivy League Rookie of the Week honors with 62 rushing yards and a touchdown, while also connecting on all three passes for 17 yards. If Garton isn't ready for the opener, Ragone may be Penn's opening day starter.

With Hurley and Garton suffering from the typical Penn injury bug, a younger group will have a chance to showcase their abilities throughout the next few weeks. Andrew Holland is the next likeliest name on the depth chart. He hasn't seen varsity action yet, but had several solid performances on the JV squad last year. Also, under Larry Woods' tutelege in 2010 is freshman transfer Ryan Becker. The Davie, Fla., native spent the 2009 campaign at Florida State and should bring some much needed depth to a position that is always in need of stability.

A perspective from an anonymous opposing coach:

"They've become a more dynamic group in the past couple of years. They used to have a sure-fire first-team (All-Ivy) guy every year. But they were always much more one dimensional. Recently, we've had to worry about guys who can run and buy time, and make something out nothing. Those can be the most frustrating players to go up against."

A little known detail about the players at the position:

* Kyle Olson is finishing classes to complete his degree after transferring from Fullerton Junior College. So the quarterback who guided the Quakers to the 2009 title with a perfect 6-0 record as a starter will still be around campus during the 2010 campaign. Certainly a good thing for any current Quaker quarterbacks with questions.

A look into where the players at this position stand heading into preseason practice:

14 Keiffer Garton QB 6-2 200 Sr. Castle Rock, Colo. (Douglas County)
10 Billy Ragone QB 6-1 190 So. Chesire, Conn. (Cheshire)
17 John Hurley QB 6-3 200 Jr. Cincinnati, Ohio (St. Xavier)
6 Andrew Holland QB 6-2 200 So. Willoughby, Ohio (St. Ignatius)