August 04, 2017

TULSA, Okla. (AP) Tulsa coach Philip Montgomery believes the quarterback competition between sophomore Chad President and redshirt freshman Luke Skipper is too close to call.

The eventual winner will step in for Dane Evans, who led the Golden Hurricane to a 10-3 record last season and a blowout win over Central Michigan in the Miami Beach Bowl.

Montgomery said he likes his options. He said both are good players who can make plays with their feet. President has a better understanding of the offense, while Skipper has a stronger arm. Montgomery said both will be ready for the opener Aug. 31 at Oklahoma State.

''I do feel comfortable that we've got two guys that I feel like we can plug into the football game and feel good about,'' Montgomery said during Tulsa's Media Day on Friday. ''From that standpoint, that's a good thing. The flip side of it - you'd still like to have a guy that you can say, `OK, he's our starter, this is the guy that's going to lead us down the field.'''

Montgomery doesn't want to put too much pressure on President or Skipper to fill the void Evans left. Evans is the school's career record-holder for yards passing, total offense, touchdown passes, completions and pass attempts.

''Those guys don't have to replace Dane,'' he said. ''One of those guys is going to take over, and we're going to grow offensively. I don't want them to feel like they've got to fill those shoes. They've got to make that position theirs.''

Montgomery said there is a chance that both quarterbacks will play in the opener, but he'd rather see one assert himself and become the clear front-runner. Montgomery has played multiple quarterbacks in the past when necessary.

''I want them to feel the pressure of the competition of it, and I want them to feel the pressure from me in the film room and the adjustments that we've got to make and being able to take that information and apply it to the field,'' Montgomery said.

Whichever player is chosen will have some solid skill players to work with. Running back D'Angelo Brewer ran for 1,435 yards and seven touchdowns last season while splitting time. Justin Hobbs and Keenen Johnson are the top returning receivers, with just under 1,000 yards between them last season.

The quarterbacks also should have good protection - four of the five starting linemen return. Offensive tackle Evan Plagg and center Chandler Miller are on the Outland Trophy watch List. Plagg, a former walk-on from Guthrie, Oklahoma, is a left tackle. Miller, a center, was a first-team all-American Athletic Conference pick last year who also has been named to the Rimington Trophy preseason watch list.

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