NATCHITOCHES (KALB) -- Every fall camp for any college football team, usually there are many spots on the depth chart up for grabs, especially in the first week of practice. None though are more publicized when it's a quarterback battle. That is currently the case at Northwestern State as Clay Holgorsen and Shelton Eppler compete to get the first snaps when the Demons open the season at Texas A&M on August 29.
It's a competition that has been going on since last Spring, with head coach Brad Laird saying then that it was Eppler who impressed the most. A junior college transfer, Eppler comes to Natchitoches after a successful two year career at Trinity Valley Community College where, in two seasons, he through for 28 touchdowns and completed 56-percent of his passes. And while he comes to a new team, the playbook is largely the same with his head coach at TVCC, Brad Smiley, now in his first season as offensive coordinator at NSU.
Holgorsen though grabbed the starting job last season with six games left, leading the Demons to a 3-3 record in that span. It was in the season finale against Stephen F. Austin where he had his best game, tossing three touchdowns in a 38-21 victory to bring Chief Caddo back to Natchitoches. In 2017 as a whole, Holgorsen tallied 1,240 passing yards and nine touchdowns, but was also picked off six times.
The plan for Laird is to keep the open competition going for the first two weeks of practice before naming a starter so that the game preparation for the Aggies can begin in earnest. While he would rather not, Laird also has not ruled out the possibility of playing two quarterbacks to open the season.