Red Wolves Quarterback Candidates Meet the Press

Jeff Reed Author Page

There was no real big news coming out of Red Wolves football media day at Arkansas State earlier this week. Well we did finally get to meet the Red Wolves quarterback candidates, and new head coach Bryan Harsin kindly reminded the media that would be it for a while.

And that was about it. End of story.

Except it isn’t.

While the big focus this pre-season is who is going to fill the shoes, or at least play the position, vacated by Ryan Aplin.

And as Harsin likes to say, “who was Ryan Aplin before he got his chance.”

Harsin believes he as the next good Red Wolves quarterback on campus. There are six candidates, with varied backgrounds, and he expects to have an idea of who the starter will be by the second scrimmage.

No timetable was given for the second scrimmage.

The Red Wolves quarterback candidates are:

  • Senior Phillip Butterfield. The Lake Hamilton product has been on campus a while and has his degree in hand. He is now on his fourth head coach. Surgery on both knees have slowed him some but he is one of three who has Division I game experience.
  • Senior Adam Kennedy. Kennedy, from California, came to ASU in the summer after spending two seasons at Utah State, where as a spot starter he has a 4-1 record for U-State. Like Butterfield, he is also has degree in hand.
  • Junior Chandler Rogers. Rogers has been the starter the past two seasons at a Mississippi junior college. He came to ASU in January and admits he did not have a good spring practice and has been working to catch up.
  • Sophomore Fredi Knighten. The former Pulaski Academy standout played some last year in a backup role and lined up some at receiver. He has something none of the other candidates have — lots of speed. If he does not win the job he will still see playing time.
  • Sophomore Stephan Hogan. He led Greenwood to the state title as a senior, came to ASU as a wide receiver and spent time going back and forth between there and quarterback. Had a good spring even though he had to play catch-up. A good athlete.
  • Freshman Cameron Birse. Another California product who stuck with an ASU commitment even though some Pac-12 schools came in late. Some consider him the future. Has one of the better arms of the group.

“We’ve got a lot of different spots up for competition and those guys understand that,” said Harsin. “We came out of spring with an understanding that whoever earns it is the guy. We want to create competition and want to get better because of that.

The Red Wolves open the season Aug. 31 at home with UA-Pine Bluff.


Jeff Reed is editor of

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