Portions of this blog post will be featured as an article in our upcoming RPAC Rundown Magazine. Check it out there!
You know the saying "If you have two quarterbacks, you have none." Alma doesn't believe that at all. They have a couple of athletes they plan to line up under center. Each with different skill sets.
For Alma they look to a senior, Jakin Neal who can sling the ball around the yard, and then Tucker Biskup a sophomore, with outstanding athleticism.
Head Coach of the Alma Cardinals, Brendan Johnsen embraces what these two bring to the table and thinks it meshes well for his squad.
"Jakin is the true general and leader of the offense. He knows where everyone is supposed to be at all times. Jakin is a very accurate passer and is very poise in the pocket when it comes to making decisions," said Johnsen. Neal will look to have another outstanding season as last year he threw for nearly 2,000 yards and 25 touchdowns and was a 1st Team All-District performer.
And for Biskup, Johnsen likes what he brings for the run game. "Tucker brings a little bit
more of the run game to the table. Tucker also has a little more arm strength when throwing the deep ball." Biskup was a 2nd Team All-District performer last year with 600 yards passing, 300 yards rushing, and 20 touchdowns.
Biskup also found himself snaring passes, nearly 500 yards worth of catches.
With that being said, it is apparent that Neal gets the majority of the quarterback snaps. "Jakin usually gets about 75% of the reps. When Jakin is in, Tucker is either split out as a receiver or in the slot as a running back. When Tucker is at quarterback, Jakin gets a breather and somebody else comes in at tight end. This helps allow us to keep guys fresh throughout the game," said Johnsen.
For Johnsen and the Cardinals, it doesn't matter which guy is in though, he feels like he can call whatever he wants and find success. "I believe this puts a ton of pressure on opposing defenses. While each guy brings their own thing to table, the playbook does not get limited with either guy in the game. Having two quarterbacks with complete disposal of the entire playbook is a huge weapon in our arsenal."
This will be something to watch as the season rolls on. Often times when you have a pair of quarterbacks, there can be issues, but for Alma, it appears they have two solid playmakers to lead the way.
Now for the Cardinals, they have a hurdle that no other team in the RPAC has this year on the gridiron. A week 0 game. They will battle against Superior a team that they beat last season in week 0, 52-20.
Johnsen said for coaches, it is a challenge having a game so early like this. "Just being so early in the year, August 18th, I mean doesn't feel like it should quite be a football game quite yet." Johnsen said getting the kids committed earlier is something they will have to work on too as it still feels like summer ball.
The Cardinals will have a trio of games before Labor Day in 2023. To listen to Brendan and I's complete conversation, listen to our podcast from July 28th here.
We plan to be at that opener for Alma when they host Superior. We will provide live updates throughout the game and a game story afterward.