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Houston stresses development of QBs not named Holton Ahlers

Published: Mar. 21, 2021 at 10:27 AM EDT
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - The message is pretty clear for Mike Houston as he enters his third season as head coach of ECU. He’s hoping his Pirates can “take over” the competition.

“Take over,” said Houston to his team before practice Friday. “One... Two... Three... Takeover!”

However, one of the not-so-big competitions for ECU this offseason is at the quarterback position.

After practice on Friday, Houston said that Greenville native and D.H. Conley alum Holton Ahlers is still his guy, even raving that the former Viking is currently in the best shape of his life.

“[Ahlers] is more explosive,” said Houston. “He’s faster. He’s noticeably improved his body; his athleticism since the fall.”

That is some great news for ECU football fans. It also reflects the fact that Ahlers is no doubt the likely starter this upcoming season.

But what about the guys behind No. 12?

Guys like highly-touted freshman Mason Garcia (No. 10) or fellow freshman Alex Flinn (No. 15)?

What about redshirt freshman Ryan Stubblefield (No. 6) or Walter Simmons (No. 2)?

Houston provided some insight after practice Friday.

“It’s great to have a guy like [Holton],” added Houston. “You know, a veteran that we all believe in. He’s the leader of our team. He’s the leader of our offense. But, you have four other guys we need to get reps. And so, Holton will get his reps. He will get his work. But, I think it’s very important that we really develop those other guys.”

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