No preseason controversy this year, NSU has solidified their starting QB for the upcoming season
NATCHITOCHES, La. (KALB) - After months of controversy last season over who would be the Demons’ starting quarterback, Coach Brad Laird has solidified who will be under center for the Demons as fall camp approaches.
Idaho State transfer Tyler Vander Waal earned the starting position after proving himself during spring practice and the spring game.
The Demons’ coaching staff is still waiting to see a few other quarterbacks to step up, as the season could bring something unexpected and need a backup.
“The thing is to battle it out during fall camp to see who the guys are going to be,” said Laird. “Tyler came out of the spring as the guy, but who can come in and be the backup? As you go through this league and the schedule that we have, you have to have at least two prepared to play.”
The sideline will look slightly different, as the NSU brought in 30 transfers and has a handful of new coaches.
The Demons will return senior wide receiver Zach Patterson, who collected the 2022 Southland Conference Newcomer Award last season.
Patterson led the team in receptions with 83, which is the second-most in school history for a single season.
“When I talk about Zach, everyone looks at what he did last year, I look at what he has done since the end of the year,” said Laird. “He has worked his tail off in the spring and this summer. He has been the leader of that group, he may not be the vocal leader of that group, but he is the leader by example.”
The receiver room for the Demons has a lot of new faces, and Coach Laird said he is ready to see who will step up in fall camp.
Northwestern State has been in a bit of a slump, as they have not won a non-conference game since 2018, and they are hoping to break that this season.
The Demons will kick off their season at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette on Sept. 2 and Louisiana Tech in Week 2.
“When you look at it, the first three weeks, you open it up too far for this team right now,” said Laird. “I don’t think it gets any better than that. You talk about the Montana game last year. It was a good experience to be able to play there, but to be able to play in-state against Louisiana Tech and Lafayette because of the fan base.”
NSU will reunite with their long-time rival Stephen F. Austin in Week 3 in Turpin Stadium.
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