It’s been said that if you have two quarterbacks, then you really have none.
That’s because, traditionally, two-quarterback systems haven’t worked in college football or the NFL. But that’s not deterring first-year Vanderbilt head coach Clark Lea from planning to use both Ken Seals and Mike Wright in the Commodores’ season opener against ETSU on Saturday.
Seals was officially named the starter, but Vanderbilt will seemingly implement some packages tailored specifically for Wright, who Lea stated was one of Vanderbilt’s best 11 offensive players.
“Both Ken and Mike had great camps and we’re proud of both those guys,” Lea said. “I felt like it was important heading into Game 1 to have some clarity in that position and we were allowing for those guys to establish roles and to build chemistry in the offense.
“Both quarterbacks will play…[Wright] is a super-talented person and a super-talented player and we’re anxious to see what kind of role he can carve for us on offense as a playmaker and a guy that can be a game changer for us.”
Seals, who broke the Vanderbilt freshman passing record last season, started all nine games and threw for 1,928 yards, 12 touchdowns and 10 interceptions while completing 64.5 percent of his passes.
He was just the third true freshman in school history to throw for over 1,000 yards in a season, and he ranked second nationally in passing yards, completions, attempts and completion percentage among true freshmen QBs.
Seals was the frontrunner for the starting QB job this season, but Lea made it clear upon taking the Vanderbilt head coaching job that every position was open to competition.
Wright saw action in six games, completing 6 of 10 passes for 51 yards, a touchdown, and an interception. He also added 41 yards rushing and a touchdown on 14 carries as well.
The 6-foot-4 sophomore has looked impressive in both the spring game in April and in camp over the summer. He showcased his playmaking ability last year both as a runner and as a threat in the red zone, which convinced Lea to find a way to get him on the field more in 2021.
“Mike has earned the right to play snaps not relegated to his situation,” Lea added. “We want to see him get out there and lead the offense. We think he’s earned that right and shown capability at times in practice to function as a (QB 1), and that’s why the competition took its course. So, we’re planning on him to have a role.
“…We’ll get him out there early in the game Saturday and we’ll see how things take shape around him. As we go through the season based on how the offense develops and how he develops in that role, we’ll look to expand that to make sure we’re putting ourselves in a winning position.”
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