YPSILANTI – At Eastern Michigan football practice Tuesday, junior quarterback Matt Bohnet found wide receiver Trumaine Riley with a perfect strike on a deep out route. Two plays later, Bohnet sold the defense on a fake-reverse-turned-flea-flicker and tossed an easy touchdown to wideout Eric Deslauriers.
Matt transferred to EMU last fall from Iowa, and initially conceded the starting quarteback job to his brother, Ken. Matt planned to contribute as a tight end. But after some coaxing from new head coach Jeff Genyk, Matt agreed to compete with Ken for the quarterback job in spring practice. Genyk won't say Matt has won the job outright, but it is clear the older Bohnet has the upper hand.
"Matt and Ken are still battling," Genyk said. "Matt's making better decisions and taking what the defense gives him."
"I'd be surprised if Matt wasn't the guy in the first game," quarterbacks coach Scott Isphording said. "Ken is doing some great things, but Matt's more consistent."
Ken, a sophomore, started the final three games of the season last year. He now works with EMU's second-team offense.
Both Genyk and Isphording also praised senior Jeff Crooks, who has fully recovered from ankle surgery. Crooks suffered severe injuries during the Eagles' 2003 opener against East Tennessee State. Crooks now rolls out of the pocket comfortably and is able to run without pain.
Click on the above audio icon for an interview with Genyk.
News and Notes Guard Jason Robert missed practice Tuesday, but is expected back later in the week. Redshirt Freshman Chris Thomas played with the starting unit in place of Robert ... With cornerbacks Steven Lewis and Geoff Pope ailing, true freshmen Tyler Griffin and Blake Smith have seen time with the top defensive unit. EMU coaches recruited Smith as a quarterback, but he will focus on defense after wowing coaches early in camp ... Running backs Justin Cook and Kaliym Hazel have left the team.