Leading the UMass Minutemen to a single victory last year, AJ Doyle is coming into this season with some uncertainty about his job. Tossing 6 touchdowns, 11 picks, and 1274 yards for the team his QBR was dismal to say the least. Now that coach Mark Whipple brought in Blake Frohnapfel to play quarterback, there is plenty on uncertainty for Doyle in the future. At this point, it is tough to tell what type of a role he will serve.
Right now, it appears as though Doyle will be backup quarterback, but even that might be a stretch. Leading by far the worst passing game in the MAC last year, Doyle might be out of the picture entirely – because of an underclassman. Todd Stafford who is a 6ft7 250lb quarterback who has a big arm went 3-for-7 passing in the Spring game throwing for 66 yards in total and a touchdown. Although this is not overly impressive, it is a small sample size and his arm strength is undeniable. Take a look and see how it was two years ago.
For now, it appears as though Doyle has the upper hand at the quarterback position, but it might not be that way for long. Once Frohnapfel starts taking reps it is widely accepted he will earn the starting role. A veteran in the program, Doyle should see some snaps this year and help teach some of the younger guys as well. If it comes down to it and Frohnapfel plays poorly or gets injured, Doyle is their man regardless of whether or not he has the most natural talent. Although he is not quite at the level of a game manager, Doyle can give his team adequate play when called upon, especially for a backup quarterback.