Note: The Nebraska quarterbacks are in a wide-open race for the starting job in the fall and on Tuesday were made available for interviews for the first time. Freshman Adrian Martinez, redshirt freshman Tristan Gebbia and sophomores Andrew Bunch and Noah Vedral spoke, while sophomore Patrick O’Brien opted not to.
The Journal Star will have looks at Martinez, Gebbia and Bunch in Wednesday's newspaper and a story on Vedral, the Wahoo native and UCF transfer who is redshirting this season, later in the week.
What’s wrong with one more quarterback for the conversation this spring?
In a unique period for the Nebraska football program without a returning starter at QB, a new offense and a new head coach, Nebraska quarterback Andrew Bunch may just be able to work his way from the bottom of the depth chart last season to one of the top spots.
The 6-foot-1, 200-pound sophomore joined the program as walk-on in January 2017 after playing one season at Scottsdale Community College. He was eligible to play last season but did not and used a redshirt year.
Nebraska coach Scott Frost likes what he’s seen from Bunch so far.
“Andrew, for one, he’s a great kid to be around,” Frost said. “He’s really gone to work learning it. Has the ability to process information quickly and makes good decisions. He’s more athletic than I expected him to be. When he takes off running, he can make some things happen. He’s been a pleasant surprise to me because I wasn’t expecting as much as I’ve seen.”
During about 10 minutes of questions from reporters on Tuesday, Bunch spoke cautiously when asked about if he’ll be a good fit for the offense, and what he can do. He was a dual-threat quarterback in high school in Thompson Stations, Tennessee.
He’s just glad he’s getting a chance to compete, and he likes how this offense allows the quarterback to show their athleticism.
“I think everybody has a new shot with a new staff,” Bunch said. “Besides the recruits that they brought in, everybody else was recruited by a completely different staff, so it’s a clean slate for everybody.”
And with an open competition and no games to prepare for, the quarterbacks have each been getting a lot of work in practice.
“The more reps you get, the better you’re going to become at the offense,” Bunch said. “And I think since the practice is so fast it gives you an opportunity to give everybody so many reps, and you don’t have to sit people out, so everybody is getting the same experience, so it gives everybody a good shot.”
Bunch didn’t have any major college scholarship offers out of high school. He went the junior college route, but had his eyes on getting to Lincoln.
“My dad (David) was a walk-on here, so I kind of decided if it came to it I was willing to walk on. I always wanted to be a Husker,” Bunch said.
There is not a lot of time for a quarterback to think in Frost’s fast-paced spread offense, but that’s not a worry for Bunch.
“That’s all been perfect,” Bunch said. “That’s all we used to do in my high school in Tennessee, we just ran tempo all day, so that just feels natural.”
As a high school senior, Bunch led his team to a 15-0 record, and passed for 3,405 yards and rushed for 520.
Bunch says he wasn’t going to leave after Frost was hired.
“Everybody wants to play for him right now,” Bunch said. “He did an amazing job a UCF, and to have a staff like that walk right into your building, there is no reason to leave. That’s all the better reason to stay.”