Competition is natural.
Ford is in competition with Toyota. Tom Brady is in competition with Peyton Manning. Starbucks is trying to beat-out Dunkin Donuts.
After Saturday’s CMU spring football game, sophomore quarterback Cooper Rush is in competition with senior Cody Kater for the starting job.
An odd situation has developed on this team: The senior, who was one of several key offensive players dismantled in CMU’s trip to Ann Arbor last season, now has to win back the top varsity sports position on campus all over again.
Kater was spot-on Saturday. His pocket presence and confidence throwing the deep ball shouted “Hey everyone! This is my job, remember?!”
Meanwhile, Rush threw the eventual scrimmage-sealing interception in what many called a “glorified practice.”
Besides his one mistake, Rush looked just as capable of leading this team as he ever has.
His career at CMU is a work in progress and hopefully fans take that into consideration as they pick which guy they want calling the signals this fall.
Head coach Dan Enos said Rush holds a “slight,” advantage over Kater for the job by virtue of starting the majority of the Chippewas 2013 games.
But can we so easily forget Rush’s record in those games, or even worse, his passer rating and turnover ratio?
Would Rush have even started a single game last year if Kater had not been injured?
Enos called Kater “a proud guy.”
I’m going to call him confident, because that is what a quarterback is supposed to be.
Good looking, well spoken and understanding of his importance and worthiness. Kater emulated all of those things, Saturday.
We will likely never see the unedited rapport between Rush and Kater; two men in close daily proximity vying for the same prize: The reigns to a team with a large upside heading into the fall.
Kater insists there are no ill feelings between the two. But fans can see the chip on the obviously-superior senior’s shoulder from a football field away.
CMU’s season opener is four and a half months away. With plenty of days to speculate which quarterback will earn the starting spot, let’s remember a few things.
Kater has more experience. Kater has the stronger arm. Kater carries himself more like a leader.
In a head-to-head battle between the two signal callers, Kater is the most qualified candidate.