Mar 242009
Authors: Matt L. Stephens

Nothing brings out the spirit of brotherly competition quite like a battle for the starting quarterback spot between a junior and a senior. As was the case starting last spring between senior Billy Farris and junior Grant Stucker, a battle that was won by Farris. This spring, the scenario is virtually identical to last year, but now Stucker hopes to be in the driver’s seat.

In the first of 15 spring football practices Tuesday, it was clear that head coach Steve Fairchild was watching three players very carefully: Stucker, who will be a senior next season, junior Jon Eastman and redshirt freshman Alex Kelly.

For the third consecutive year Stucker has been battling in the spring for the starting job, but being the most experienced of the three competing for the spot, he feels that he has an advantage this time.

“When coach Fairchild got here, the main thing was that we were going to win games, and they’re going to put the best guy under center who will put us in position to do that, whether it’s a freshman or me. It’s going to be the guy who wins games,” Stucker said.

Stucker’s main competition is with Eastman, a transfer from Snow College in Utah. Eastman took in his first practice as a Ram on Tuesday and came out impressed with the talented receiver corps.

“I had a lot of fun out there. We have some real talented wide receivers, and I got to adjust to the timing and everything, but that’s how it always is the first time,” said Eastman, a native of Fort Morgan. “I’m excited to keep throwing with these guys, they look real good.”

Eastman will have a chance to do that today as CSU’s second practice has been moved up from Thursday due to the weather forecast.

Football beat writer Matt L. Stephens can be reached at

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