Second-year University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Offensive Coordinator Ted White is working over and beyond to improve the Golden Lions in every aspect on that side of the ball.
At the quarterback position, the Golden Lions are going through the process of a competition mainly between two guys who have separated themselves from the pack: red-shirt senior Brandon Duncan and junior Le'Earl Patterson.
The Golden Lions are four practises in, and Coach White believes they're on the right track. The offense has shown that they have the desire the compete, and White can live with that.
"So far I think we're on schedule," White said. "I think the quarterbacks are doing an excellent job, and the receivers are doing an excellent job. The offensive line is really improving, and I'm happy with where we are now. Obviously there's still a lot of work to be done before we play Morehouse, but the guys are really in tune and engaged in what we're doing at this particular time. As long as they compete and we get better every single day I'm satisfied."
White spoke on behalf of both of the top two QB's in Duncan and Patterson. Brandon entered this season as a two-year starter, and White sees him being a great player in the SWAC if he maxes out his potential.
"The thing about Brandon is he's definitely a leader," White said. "Before he went out with an injury last year the guy was one of the top passers in the conference. He stayed here this summer and he did a great job of making sure he led by example ... that's one thing I was really impressed with in Duncan. He's a flat out player, he can flat out throw the football. We need him to be a great player every game, and I think he has the capability of being able to do that."
Catching up with Duncan, he elaborated on just being back on the field with the season right around the corner.
"It feels good, and I'm excited," Duncan said. "Just getting back on the field and getting into the flow of things. I've been getting in touch with my new receivers as we're getting our timing down in preparation for the new season."
Duncan is well aware that he's in the midst of a battle right now, but he's embracing it full on, and according to him, he feeds off of it.
"I go into every competition as if I'm not the starter anyway," Duncan said. "It makes me work harder. With me having experience, it helps me play faster. I can read the defenses faster, get the plays in, control the offense, and I know what it takes to win a football game."
On the other hand, Le'Earl Patterson is the more mobile of the two, and his ability to use his athleticism is one thing Coach White referenced on his behalf.
"Le'Earl, he's a younger, more mobile guy," White said. "He's very athletic, and we can do a lot of things with him. It might be a situation to where we might sometimes play two quarterbacks in the game. He's that duel threat guy that we can really depend on. The guys really respect him."
Patterson is locked in, and he's enjoying being back in the mix with his teammates.
"It's great to be out here with the whole team," Patterson said. "It's a big brotherhood out here, and it's a good feeling to get this work in and build a bond together as one unit. I have to be ready at all times so that anytime my name is called I can produce."
Two other quarterbacks who are competing for positions are red-shirt sophomore Roger Totten Jr. and senior Marcus Terrell.
"Marcus Terrell is another senior that we have," White said. "A guy that is very experienced and he knows the offense like the back of his hand. When something goes wrong on the field, he knows what it is before watching film. Rogger Totten is a hard working red-shirt sophomore at this particular time. He's a kid that tries hard, and he's still developing as a total quarterback. He comes to every meeting, he takes notes, and he's competing to get better."
The Golden Lions will hold their first scrimmage of fall practice on Aug. 12.