One position all of App nation knows is locked in for 2019 is Quarterback. Zac Thomas who will be a redshirt junior this season will enter his second year as QB1 for the Mountaineers and will look to build on a strong 2018 season. Taking over for the great Taylor Lamb would be no easy task but it was a task Thomas was more than ready for.
Thomas won the hearts of many App State fans in Week 1 last season for his inspired and strong play at Penn State before falling short in overtime. Zac would follow that week up with a perfect 15/15 passing game against Charlotte. Thomas was injured against rival Georgia Southern and would miss the next game against Coastal Carolina but the QB depth looks a bit different than it did in 2018 so lets look who sits behind Zac Thomas for 2019.
QB2 - Jacob Huesman (RS-JR)
Huesman is a man who Mountaineer fans are familiar with as the 6’3 Bradenton, Florida, product made his first career start last season against Coastal Carolina. Huesman was locked in a back and forth QB2 battle a season ago with Peyton Derrick (Who now resides at Wofford) got the 1 game starting nod as a game time decision a season ago.
Against Coastal, Huesman had a season long 33 yard TD pass to Corey Sutton while going 9/19 passing with 127 yards. Overall Huesman finished last season 21/38 through the air with for 206 yards to go with 4 interceptions and only 2 touchdowns. While the numbers leave a lot to be desired, we just haven't seen enough of any other QB to warrant Huesman losing his QB2 status from a pre-season perspective.
QB3 - Jackson Gibbs (Soph)
After Huesman things get a little muddy sorting out the 3 & 4 spots on the depth chart. Jackson Gibbs transferred into the App State program last year after spending his freshman year in 2017 at UCLA. The last name should ring a bell in the Carolinas region as Jackson is the grandson to Washington Redskins Hall of Fame head coach and NASCAR team owner Joe Gibbs.
Jackson played his high school years at Hough High School in Davidson NC. His senior season he threw for just over 1600 yards and 20 TDs. Standing at 6’1 Gibbs weighs in at 193 pounds. Gibbs only saw action in App State’s 72-7 route of Gardner Webb a season ago so it appears only time will tell if Gibbs has impressed the new coaching staff to move up the depth chart.
QB4- Tanner Wilson (RS-Soph)
Tanner Wilson is a kid who is no stranger to winning. As a senior in 2016 at Reidsville high school he led the Rams to a unbeaten season and the NCHSAA 2A state title. Reidsville didn't just win games under Wilson they demolished the competition, averaging 52 points per game and only giving up 7 points a game. Wilson threw for over 2500 yards and 37 touchdowns as a senior and was a leader for the Rams offensive juggernaut.
Like Gibbs, Wilson was only seen in the blowout win over Gardner Webb in 2018 as he handed the ball off to Running Back D’Andre Hicks for a 72 yard touchdown run. Wilson has a good frame for the QB position as he measures in a 6’2, 225 pounds. He shares the same spot as Gibbs in the form of lack of college throws to the public eye. However, The kid is a winner and I wouldn't be surprised in a blowout game to see him get a few throws in the 4th quarter and move his way up the chart.
Without a doubt as long as Zac Thomas stays healthy he is the number 1 option for Appalachian State. Barring an unforeseen injury, we will only see any of the other three options in blowout situations. A lot of unproven commodities sit behind Thomas which makes the future after 2020 still foggy.