Seth Littrell surprised all of us by plugging true freshman Mason Fine into the starting lineup against Bethune Cookman last year in week two. The freshman from Locust Grove, Oklahoma took over for Alabama transfer Alec Morris. Fine started most of the remainder of the season to varied effectiveness before an injury knocked him out of the starting lineup.
Morris used up his eligibility and in the spring, the incumbent Fine looked to establish himself as the clear-cut starter. One problem, Quinn Shanbour made the quarterback position a two horse race. Shanbour a redshirt Junior, also from Oklahoma, attempted one pass coming into 2017 - it was incomplete. “I think Quinn had the best spring of any quarterback we had," Littrell said last week.
In the spring game, Shanbour threw for 253 yards compared to Fine's 116. Whoever the starter is, he'll need to at least attempt to push the ball downfield. Littrell characterized North Texas' deep passing game in 2016 as "terrible" at CUSA Media Day.
“They’re really similar players,” offensive coordinator Graham Harrell said. “Quinn’s a little bigger and stronger in the run game just because he can take more of a hit, but Fine can run too. Fine is more of a natural passer but both have very strong arms.”
Expect North Texas to make the call sometime in the next week in anticipation of the Mean Green opener vs. Lamar on September 2nd.
Tale of the Tape
Sophomore, Locust Grove, Oklahoma
Two-time Oklahoma Gatorade Player of the Year.
Set Oklahoma high school career records for passing yards (13,081) and touchdown passes (166)
RS Junior, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Graduated from Heritage Hall in OKC, then spent a year in prep school in Connecticut before walking on at Oklahoma State.
Transferred to North Texas in 2013.