TOWSON, Md. - Four years ago, Peter Athens was a very young football player when he found himself starting at quarterback for the Tigers’ season opener at Northwestern University.
Only months removed from graduating from Huntington High School, he lined up behind center for Coach Rob Ambrose’s first game as the Tigers’ coach.
Athens was the Tigers’ starting quarterback for the first six games of the 2009 season. He led the Tigers to wins over Coastal Carolina and Rhode Island while passing for 691 yards and six touchdowns. He also ran for 132 yards on 31 carries and scored a touchdown.
However, his college career took a detour in the Tigers’ Homecoming Game against Delaware. Athens suffered a torn ACL injury in the first quarter against the Blue Hens and missed the rest of the season.
In 2010, he spent the season as an injury red-shirt and sat out the season. During the 2011 and 2012 seasons, he served as the backup quarterback behind Grant Enders as Enders led the Tigers to back-to-back Colonial Athletic Association championships.
As he goes through his fifth pre-season camp with the Tigers, Athens finds himself competing for the starting position at quarterback. Every day at practice, he competes with junior Joe Brennan, sophomore Connor Frazier and red-shirt freshman Ryan Egolf for the starting quarterback position.
Whomever gets the starting nod will face a very formidable task – replacing Enders, an All-CAA selection.
“We have some players who can do the job at quarterback,” says Coach Ambrose. “It has been a great competition between them. What we need to determine is who will do the best job leading our offense.”
If Ambrose knows who will be the Tigers’ starter when they open the season at Connecticut, he isn’t saying. Of Athens, he says “Pete has a strong knowledge of our offense. He is talented and has experience so he will be a strong contender.
He also has words of praise for Brennan and Frazier. He says, “Joe has all the tools to be a very good quarterback. He is very talented and will get a long look.”
As for Frazier, Ambrose says “Connor is very young and intellegent. He has a bright future here.”
The Tigers return to practice on Wednesday with two practice sessions scheduled. It will be the Tigers’ first two-a-day this year.