Thursday's links: A whole lot of Big Ten quarterback talk

There are a lot of questions facing Purdue in its first season under Darrell Hazell. One of the biggest is at quarterback. Well, it looks like Rob Henry is slowly emerging as the No. 1 quarterback at Purdue over true freshman Danny Etling and redshirt freshman Austin Appleby.

Henry, a senior, is the most athletic and experienced option. And those traits would serve him well playing in an offense that is filled with questions.

ILLINOIS QBS: The quarterback is always a hot topic. And that’s the case at Illinois. But, Nathan Scheelhaase is still the guy—says Mark Tupper of the Decatur Herald-Review–even though there’s chatter about true freshman Aaron Bailey. And junior Reilly O’Toole also is back.

Scheelhaase is a favorite whipping boy, but he’s still Illinois’ best hope. And, as Tupper points out, he also is the guy who led Illinois to a pair of bowl victories, whose touchdown-to-interception ratio is still 34-24 for his career, whose completion percentage is still 61 percent and who is an extremely tough kid who has rushed for 1,795 yards and 15 touchdowns.

Remember: He has operated behind a wobbly offensive line, leaned on sub-par wide receivers and last year he dealt with play-calling that exposed first-year co-offensive coordinators as woefully inexperienced.

Bottom line: Illinois’ lack of team success has in no way been all Scheelhaase’s fault.

I just can’t wait until Oklahoma State transfer Wes Lunt becomes eligible in 2014 and watching him battle Bailey and O’Toole for the job. That will be a fun race.

IOWA QB BATTLE: Iowa’s three-man quarterback battle has the boys at HawkCentral.com whimsical for the three-man battle for the QB spot in 1987. (Hey, anytime I have a chance to flashback to 1987, I’ll do it!)

HawkCentral.com says Dan McGwire, Tom Poholsky and Chuck Hartlieb were locked in a three-man battle for Iowa’s starting quarterback position.

“The only thing I was sure of at that point was Hartlieb was No. 3 coming out of spring practice,” Kirk Ferentz told the Des Moines Register in a sit-down interview earlier this summer. “It was obvious. McGwire and Poholsky, flip a coin.”

But it was Hartlieb who eventually won the job and led Iowa to victories in seven of its last eight games in 1987. I guess this means whomever isn’t the favorite in this year’s Iowa QB race will win the job. But, I’m not sure who the favorite is?

DERRICK GREEN WEIGH IN: It created a bit of a stir when stud Michigan incoming freshman running back Derrick Green weighed in at 240 pounds the other day. But staffers don’t appear to be worried about the girth—at least not yet.

“He moves pretty good,” offensive coordinator Al Borges told reporters after practice. “But what we’ve got to do with that, and (strength coach Aaron Wellman) helps us with this because that’s what he does, but we kind of watch and see if he’s efficient at that weight.

“If he’s efficient at that weight, (he won’t need) to drop weight. But if we see he could be more efficient at a lesser weight, we’ll ask him to drop weight.”

I find it difficult to believe Green can operate at top efficiency at this weight. With a chance to play a lot, I would have thought Green would have arrived in Ann Arbor chiseled.

TURN IT UP SOME: Ever attended a Wisconsin practice—or any practice, for that matter–and wondered why music was blaring? Watch this video of Gary Andersen and learn.

If coaches are gonna blast music, I have one simple request: no country. Just loud 1980s heavy metal. This is football.

PELINI LIKES HUSKERS YOUTH: The youngsters at Nebraska are impressing Bo Pelini. Good thing, since there are just 31 scholarship upperclassmen on the Cornhuskers’ roster.

OVERCOMING SANCTIONS: The way Penn State coach Bill O’Brien has been able to overcome recruiting sanctions has been remarkable. Read and watch how he has overcome the handicap.

The guy is just flat-out honest and straight forward No B.S. And I love it.

EX-NITTANY LION SHOT IN LINE OF DUTY: Speaking of Penn State, saddened to see former Penn State player Brian King injured in a shooting in the line of duty as a Pennsylvania state trooper.

TWEETS THAT MATTER

My take: Smith is a stud.

My take: Amen to that.

My take: Should be a nice bowl game. I guess.

About Tom Dienhart BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart is a veteran sports journalist who covers Big Ten football and men’s basketball for BTN.com and BTN TV. Find him on Twitter and Facebook, read all of his work at btn.com/tomdienhart, and subscribe to his posts via RSS. Also, send questions to his weekly mailbag using the form below and read all of his previous answers in his reader mailbag section.

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2 Comments

Your Opinion?
Show Comments (2 Comments)
shookwriter27 on 8/8/2013 @ 3:42pm EDT Said:

I must point out that Nathan is a leader in several QB categories at Illinois.

Powderd Toast Man on 8/9/2013 @ 11:12am EDT Said:

That’s like saying he’s the pretties girl in the “At Least I’m not Horribly Disfigured” beauty contest. Context man. Context.

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