Column: LaFaver, the new signal caller

By Albert Shelby

August 29, 2014

With Travis Partridge taking snaps in Canada, he left a hole in one of the most important positions on the football field. The Griffons went into the summer with a couple of uncertainties, and Partridge’s replacement was one of the biggest. Quarterbacks TJ LaFaver, Skyler Windmiller, and Nate Wilson have been battling for the top spot since spring practice. Head coach Jerry Partridge has not publicly named the player that will be the starter a week from now, but I think I have an idea of who will and should start. All three quarterbacks have something that sets them apart from the other. One thing that neither player lacks is leadership. The trio has shown why the competition was pretty fierce for the first couple of weeks. LaFaver seems to be the favorite. He has good size for the position, and fits the style of play that we have grown accustom of seeing from the Griffons. LaFaver has a pretty solid arm, which will only improve with the more snaps he takes. A mobile quarterback has been tradition at Western, and LaFaver fits right in. Something to pay attention to is the receiver core. With a new signal caller under the center, chemistry with the receivers will be extremely important. For LaFaver, he will have a chance to throw to some of the best receivers in the MIAA. The team’s leader in receptions from a year ago, Stephon Weaver is returning and may become one of LaFaver’s favorite targets early. Weaver has a big body that makes him a nightmare for smaller cornerbacks. Look for LaFaver to take full advantage of Weaver early on the season. Dee Toliver and Josh Walker also had breakout seasons last year and showed that the group as a whole has a lot of promise. There is a lot of experience on the receiver core and will really become a factor for LaFaver when the season gets tougher. LaFaver is also the best fit in the backfield with running back Raphael Spencer returning. Spencer is one of the MIAA’s elite backs and will help LaFaver mature as a quarterback while the season continues. Together, Spencer and LaFaver will create one of the more athletic backfields in the league. LaFaver has all the tools to lead this team back to the playoffs. Like every quarterback going into their first year as a starter, there will be some growing pains. With the right pieces and coaches around him, LaFaver can be a starter for the Griffons for the rest of his college career.