Spring football practice kicks off with quarterback questions

Published April 2, 2024, 12:18 a.m., last updated April 2, 2024, 12:23 a.m.

The Stanford football team (3-9, 2-7 Pac-12) kicked off its first day of spring practice on Monday. Players participated in live drills with helmets, but tackling was prohibited. 

Heading into spring practice, head coach Troy Taylor said every position group would include a competition for starters, including quarterback. 

“You want to have as many outstanding quarterbacks as you possibly can and let them compete. They’ll bring out the best in each other,” Taylor said. “I thought all the quarterbacks were in control today.”

During this practice session, all the quarterbacks on the roster got the same number of reps, Taylor said.

“You don’t rush to judgment on the first day,” Taylor said. “Hopefully you see that they progress and they’re getting better, and they don’t make the same mistakes twice. By that time hopefully you see somebody emerge.”

No matter who the quarterback is this season, they will have one of the top receiving tandems in the country with junior wide receiver Elic Ayomanor and sophomore wide receiver Tiger Bachmeier.

Ayomanor told The Daily that having a great season last year has given him more confidence coming into this season. He also noted that this off-season, he’s looking to perfect his route-running.

“You want to be able to play fast, but you also want to play creative,” Ayomanor said. “Now that I know the playbook a lot better, I will have a little more freedom with my routes.”

With a year with Taylor under his belt, Ayomanor is confident that the team’s offense can take the next step into becoming potent. 

“We’ve been in the offense for a year — we know how it works and we know it a little bit better,” Ayomanor said. “The ease with which we play in the offense and the speed with which we execute is much better. The smaller details are the things we can focus on now. Once you become good at those small details, that’s how you become an effective and efficient offense.”

According to Bachmeier, one of the most important things this offseason for the receivers has been building chemistry with the quarterback room.

“I love the quarterback room,” said Bachmeier. “It’s just a really good atmosphere when we’re watching film together. I don’t know if there is a time when we aren’t laughing in there and having a good time.”

The first practice also gave the receivers and running backs an opportunity to exhibit their speed.

“Coming off our first practice, we’re putting our speed to work,” Bachmeier said. “We’re giving our receivers more and more opportunities to showcase their speed with routes that we’re putting in and the new plays we’re throwing in.”

While questions persist around the quarterback room and the offensive line, Taylor can sense a higher level of confidence among his players going into year two.

“The players who just got here are still learning, but I think in general there’s a higher level of confidence,” Taylor said.

Kaushik Sampath is a desk editor for the sports section. He is a sophomore from Fayetteville, Arkansas, who's undecided on his major. You can catch him watching and ranting about his beloved Arkansas Razorbacks or hanging out with friends on campus. Contact him at sports 'at' stanforddaily.com.

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