Another QB controversy?

By Wes Swietek

During the past football season, much of the talk about the Huskies revolved around a quarterback controversy. Namely, should Stacey McKinney be starting ahead of Rob Rugai?

That specific question appears to be answered for the coming season with the discovery that head coach Charlie Sadler’s staff is switching McKinney to a wide receiver.

But, with the signing of record-breaking junior college quarterback Scott Crabtree of Northeastern Oklahoma A & M, the question then becomes, will there be a quarterback controversy next year?

No, say coach and player.

“There’s no quarterback controversy,” said Sadler. “Not unless someone tries to make it a controversy. It’s nothing I’m worried about.

“The starting quarterback will be determined at fall camp, just like any position on our football team—we’re going to play our best players.”

Rugai, who has been waiting patiently for his turn to guide NIU while sitting behind first Stacy Robinson and then McKinney, also downplays the arrival of Crabtree.

“It’s no big deal. He’s not going to be here until the fall. Right now, it’s my job, no doubt,” said Rugai, who said he wasn’t upset about NIU bringing in a highly-touted JUCO quarterback during his senior year.

“They’ve made a commitment to me. They told me they’d be bringing in a JUCO quarterback,” Rugai said. “They have to look to the future. With it being my last year, I’m going to try to do whatever I can to play.”

Looking to the future is what prompted NIU to switch McKinney from QB to receiver.

“He’ll give us more speed at that position,” Sadler said. “I think he’ll do the things he needs to do (to adjust).”

The switch brings up the possible scenario next season of Rugai passing the ball to his former rival McKinney.

“He’s a great athlete—we have to have him out on the field,” Rugai said.