That’s the biggest question going into this camp, by far. (I don’t know what the second biggest question is, though there are a few candidates.)
The good part with Rising is he has complete command of the play book and whatever Lud wants to do, so beside shaking off the rust there’s really no development work to be accomplished.
When you combine that with Rising essentially being like another coach to his teammates, it’s as ideal as things could be in terms of giving the three other QBs quality reps and attention to prepare them for the season… even if it’s Cam that runs out in Game 1.
The spring game both displayed the raw skillsets that Rose & Johnson bring to the table, but also revealed some immaturity in the advanced part of the QB game. Barnes is a known quantity. Some are lukewarm on what he brings, but I think so far he’s only been put in a game as a game manager, and been pretty successful. Any QB who finds out he’s going to start at Pullman and then comes out with a win is a pretty solid QB.
Is there another level to Bryson’s game? I wouldn’t bet against it.
Rose seems to have solid overall skills as a classic drop back QB, a nice arm. He reminds me of a PAC QB who tormented us in the early days: Oregon State’s Sean Mannion, who’s still playing in the league.
Nate Johnson has jump-off-the-TV-screen athleticism, and the spring game showed he throws a nice ball, as well. The unknown is how much he’s absorbed the ability to read defenses, and have a sense of where the opportunities will be in a play. That comes with time.
The spring game is just not a good indicator of advanced football knowledge - the D has one arm tied around their back, the schemes are vanilla, it’s mostly just a display of talent and who has put in the work. And we have the talent in our defensive backfield to turn any mistake into a turnover, so misreads or being off on a throw is obvious for everyone to see.
If Rising’s not ready early in the season, I think Lud might go with a combo situation, which the extra cycles mentioned above makes more possible. We saw just a glimpse of what Johnson can do, and just having him on the field at the same time with another QB would put pressure on any defense that is mixing in inexperienced players early in the season.
Things are often ragged in Week 1 and even Week 2 even with the best teams, so would Lud look to capitalize on that coming out of camp? I think so.