MOREHEAD The late Billy Preston probably didn’t think about Rowan County’s quarterback situation.
The title of the rock, soul, funk, gospel and R&B legend’s 1974 hit “Nothing from Nothing” nevertheless describes the Vikings’ quarterback statistical predicament going into this season. Senior Will Cox and junior Austin Fannin threw a combined three passes last year for no yards.
Nobody is queasy about Cox and Fannin replacing Tabor Wright, who threw for 530 yards and four touchdowns.
“Me and Austin have been competing since the spring,” Cox said. “(Quarterback) has been a secondary position to me. ... I played quarterback my freshman year.
“It’s been always something I’ve played, but I’ve been more of an athlete first.”
Cox caught 10 passes for 204 yards as a receiver last year. He said some skills — footwork, leading a team — are second nature. As for transitioning to quarterback …
“Just throwing the ball, going through your reads, only having a few seconds to get (the ball) out, it is a big difference,” Cox said. “ … Actually having to think about what I’m doing, it’s an adjusting period.
“ … The spring, the feeling-out process, it was tough, but this summer was better.”
The main thing Cox learned from Wright was more emotional.
“He just taught me not get too low on yourself,” Cox said. “‘Cause he has the transition, too, where he wasn’t a quarterback full-time, then he was.”
Handedness is the obvious difference between Cox and Fannin — Cox is left-handed. The right-handed Fannin is more of a drop-back passer, while Cox is as comfortable running and throwing.
“We’re both really smart, like equal matches, really,” Fannin said. “I feel like I throw a better deep ball, but he can throw and run a lot better than me.”
Neither Cox nor Fannin knows how much they’ll be throwing — new offensive coordinator Scooter Charles is installing passing plays into the run-dominant Wing-T offense. Cox said much of it is faking a “Jet” look, in which a running back takes the ball on an end around.
“The biggest transition is straight drop-back and reading the defense, which we haven’t done a lot of that in the past,” Cox said.
The only secret Charles reveals is that Cox is a receiver when both are in the game.
“We have various packages for both,” Charles said. “I don’t want to pin those kids down.”
Neither Fannin nor Cox has a favorite receiver.
“I just look for whoever’s open, really,” Fannin said.