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Why Will 2023 Be Different? There Will Be No More QB Shuffling

Haynes King has won the job, and according to Brent Key, it’s not a short leash

NCAA Football: Texas A&M at South Carolina Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

The 2023 season should be a step in the right direction for Georgia Tech. After 3.5 years of mediocrity and excuses, the Yellow Jackets can finally start improving under new head coach Brent Key.

Earlier this week, Brent Key shocked us all (at least the FTRS staff) by announcing the winner of the QB battle more than a week ahead of Tech’s first game against Louisville. All throughout the offseason, returning redshirt freshman Zach Pyron and Texas A&M transfer Haynes King competed for the job. Although many (myself included) expected Pyron to win the job, it was King who won the job.

And this is where it gets interesting. In every season since Justin Thomas left, Georgia Tech has pretty much refused to play just one QB. In every season since he left, there has been at minimum 2 games in each season where Tech has played more than one QB in the same game. The in-game stat ended up not being quite as drastic as I thought it would be, but in the Collins era, even when he had Jeff Sims, the job largely never felt like it was definitively his.

That’s going to change this year. Here’s what Brent Key had to say about it when he made the announcement:

Haynes King is the starter. Make no bones about it. That is why we made the decision. I’m not putting him on a short leash. I don’t want the starting quarterback to go out there and feel like if he makes one mistake he is going to get yanked. That is not the world we are living in.

Now, I understand that it’s certainly possible that injuries happen and another quarterback will have to come in, but that’s not the point I’m trying to get at. The last several years have felt like the coaching staff either didn’t have the QB they wanted or couldn’t pick which one was the best. And it’s been like that since Justin Thomas left.

This year, though, Haynes King will definitively be the starter, and it’s not something Tech fans will have to worry about. The more I sit with it, the more confident I am in the coaching staff that Brent Key selected, so right now, I trust that he, Buster Faulkner, and Chris Weinke made the right call in giving King the job.

Think about it this way. If Faulkner can use his QB whispering magic to turn Stetson Bennett into an NFL quarterback, imagine what he can do with Haynes King, a QB who was highly rated out of high school but has faced some development and injury issues. I think Faulkner is a guy who can bring out the best in Haynes King, and I think he’ll give Tech fans no reason to call for the back-up this year.