Brumbaugh ready for first career start tonight against EKU

Ian Kidd, Staff Reporter

Throughout the RMU football team’s 2014 training camp, there has been an ongoing competition to decide who would start quarterback against Eastern Kentucky to open the season.

The position battle stems from the academic ineligibility of last year’s starter, Paul Jones, which forced the Colonials to head into preseason with four young, inexperienced quarterbacks.

As of this week, sophomore Luke Brumbaugh has been named the starting quarterback. Brumbaugh was a three-year starter at local Seton-La Salle High School, where he threw for 3,700 yards and 38 touchdowns.

The announcement came just days in advance of the team’s season opener tonight against Eastern Kentucky.

His grasp of the system in its infancy is tremendous.”

— Darrin Hicks, offensive coordinator

“The consistency of his play from spring ball all the way through this fall camp has just been incredible,” said first-year offensive coordinator Darrin Hicks. “[He’s] very prepared, and came back with a strong mentality to be the starter.”

Brumbaugh began the year in a fierce competition alongside junior Derik Abbott, who was expected to be the frontrunner leading into the season. Brumbaugh is a young quarterback who will be starting for the first time as a collegiate player Thursday night.

However, that hasn’t altered his calm, cool, and collected approach.

“I’m definitely going to try and stay within the system as much as possible,” said Brumbaugh. “I’m hoping for a big win and I’m very excited about it.”

A new spread offensive scheme has been implemented this year, which Brumbaugh has picked up quickly. Hicks also mentioned the maturity his quarterback displays for such a young player creates a calming presence for his teammates both on and off the field.

“His grasp of the system in its infancy is tremendous,” said Hicks. “We want him to be kind of an extension of our coaching staff on the field, and we feel real confident that he is that.”

Inexperience is a major concern for the offensive unit, but as Hicks explained, every player has to start somewhere.

“The only way to gain experience is to go out there and make it happen,” he said. “It’s everybody’s first game sometime.”

Up until this point, Brumbaugh and the offense have been working tirelessly to improve themselves against their own high-caliber defense.

A large crowd is expected Thursday night as Brumbaugh makes his first career start. Kickoff is set for 7PM from Joe Walton Stadium.