New Mexico is less than three weeks away from its football home opener against Incarnate Word and still with its starting quarterback to be determined.
There are other position battles, yet the Lobos’ quarterback remains the most intriguing and, with regard to a new offense being installed, the most important.
Coltin Gerhart, Tevaka Tuioti and Sheriron Jones have been competing to be the UNM quarterback. This week (and maybe longer?), it will be a two-man race, as Jones is nursing an ailing right hamstring. He tweaked it during Saturday’s closed intrasquad scrimmage in Dreamstyle Stadium.
Jones cautioned that he’s still very much in the mix to become the starter.
“It’s something new,” Jones said of dealing with the hamstring. “But it’s not bad. I’ll be fine. I’m still battling for the quarterback spot. I have to take a lot of mental reps when something like this happens.
“At the end of the day, I can’t have a mentality of down, sad, upset or all that type of that thing. I have to be positive in order to get back fully healthy. I’m looking at it that way, and just going from there.”
Jones said his hamstring is a six on a pain scale of one to 10. He will probably miss a week, UNM coach Bob Davie said.
Davie said all three quarterbacks made plays during the scrimmage that Jones said encompassed plays. The defensive players were not allowed to hit/tackle the quarterback. The offense did not commit a turnover.
Gerhart celebrated his 24th birthday with some big plays and added confidence on Saturday.
He completed a long, touchdown pass to wide receiver Elijah Lilly, Davie said.
“I felt in control of the offense,” said Gerhart, who went out to dinner with his parents, in town from Southern California, and visited the Albuquerque Downs horse racing track for his birthday weekend. “I felt like things were clicking well with the receivers. I just got to play football. I just went there and did what I had to do.”
Gerhart believes the starting quarterback battle is just as competitive as it was since the Lobos began practicing for the season on Aug. 3.
“We are challenging each other,” Gerhart said. “Sheriron is hurt right now. That held him back a little bit. Hopefully he can come back strong. Overall we are all competing every day, and I think it’s going to be like that until the very first game.”
Junior safeties A.J. Greeley and Patrick Peek were out on Monday with injuries that were to be diagnosed later in the evening, Davie said.