In case you didn't know, Old Dominion Monarchs quarterback Taylor Heinicke is a senior this year. That means that, well, he's not going to be playing for the team in 2015. That also means that the face of this offense will change drastically, no matter who it is under center.
It's going to be very, very hard to match what Heinicke has done for this program. And I'm sure everyone, from Bobby Wilder on down to the fans in the stands, knows that. But, with Heinicke gone after this year, that's why they brought in Shuler Bentley before this season and brought in Colin McElroy and David Washington a year ago. That's also why they're bringing in Jake Easter, a highly touted player out of Pfafftown (N.C.), next year.
Right now the depth chart lists Washington as the backup quarterback, which would logically mean that he would be the starter on September 5, 2015, when the team travels to Eastern Michigan, right? I'm not sure that's the case.
It's evident that Washington fits the mold of a dual-threat quarterback: he rushed for 154 yards and a touchdown on 29 carries as a freshman, but this season he's been utilized as a wideout, recording 32 catches and 423 yards while finding the end zone twice. No doubt that the offense will feature more of an opportunity to showcase his running ability in 2015. If he's beaten out for the starting job next year, I'd expect to see him move to WR full-time while stepping under center if the starting QB gets banged up.
Bentley, the top quarterback in his class out of the state of South Carolina, was expected to step in when Heinicke graduated, which is why I think that some people were a little surprised when he wasn't named the backup. Does that mean that Washington's the leader right away? I don't think so. My theory is that Wilder wanted to give Bentley a chance to really learn the system before giving him a clear path to the throne if Heinicke were to go down this year. That way he would have two quarterbacks with in-game experience ahead of him to evaluate before making a push for the starting job in 2015. From what I've read on him, it seems that Bentley is the more "Heinicke-esque" of the two.
In any event, the Monarchs will be a much different team with Washington or Bentley taking the snaps in 2015. Will it translate into more wins? That's not known right now. One thing's for sure: the shoes they'll be filling will be rather large.