If the season were to start today, Andrew McNulty would be North Texas’ starting quarterback after pulling away from six others who took snaps during the Mean Green’s 15 spring practices.
“McNulty is definitely our best,” coach Dan McCarney said. “If he continues to do what he’s done, he’s our guy. He’s definitely our starter right now.”
McNulty, who will be a senior, will take snaps with the first team in the Mean Green’s spring game at 2 p.m. Saturday at Apogee Stadium.
McNulty as the starter isn’t cast in place, though a change by the time the Mean Green open the season at SMU is unlikely.
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Not in spring camp was junior college transfer DaMarcus Smith, who could not enroll for the spring because he hadn’t fulfilled all his requirements at Butler (Kan.) Community College. McCarney was hopeful Smith would compete for the job.
He still might, though missing spring practice has put him way behind.
Smith, a dual-threat quarterback, was highly recruited out of Louisville (Ky.) Seneca High School in 2011. He backed out of a commitment to Louisville, signing instead with Central Florida. However, he was ruled ineligible by the NCAA Clearinghouse and transferred to Western Kentucky.
Quarterback was a position of instability during North Texas’ 4-8 2014. McNulty, a 6-foot-1, 209-pounder from Iowa City, Iowa, began the season as the No. 3 on the depth chart, but found his opportunity after original starter Josh Greer and backup Dajon Williams faltered. The three combined to throw 13 interceptions, including seven by McNulty.
Greer and Williams are still with the team.
“If DeMarcus Smith can come in and in 29 practices can beat McNulty out, then fine,” McCarney said. “Clearly, Andrew McNulty is our starter right now.”
Wilson ‘the guy’
McCarney and coaches have proclaimed sophomore Jeffrey Wilson the starter at running back. That’s somewhat surprising, considering that leading rusher Antoinne Jimmerson (589 yards on 120 carries) is returning for his senior season.
But it’s certainly no bombshell. Wilson showed flashes in nine games and limited carries (224 yards on 50 carries) last year. McCarney said he was very comfortable with a stable of backs that includes Willy Ivery and Andrew Tucker.
Wilson “and Jimmerson will both go with the first team,” McCarney said. “Wilson is the guy. We all feel like he has a chance to be special.”
Drawing a new line
North Texas is faced with replacing four starters on the offensive line, most of them three- and four-year first-teamers.
Junior center Kaydon Kirby is the lone returning starter.
Seniors Micah Thompson and Michael Banogu; walk-on Sam Rice, who transferred from SMU; and Chris Miles round out the unit, which has been quite an asset the past few years.