Dave Doeren hopes to make a decision about N.C. State’s starting quarterback soon.
After what he said was an important week for Jalan McClendon and Ryan Finley, including a scrimmage at Carter-Finley Stadium last Saturday, Doeren said there was still no clarity in the quarterback competition.
Tuesday will be the last day of practice before classes start and by next week the team will start preparing for the Sept. 1 opener with William & Mary.
“We won’t make any decisions for another week, probably,” Doeren said. “(We’ll) try to get to Sunday and hopefully have some clarity then. We’ll see when we get there. We’re not there yet.”
McClendon, a redshirt sophomore, and Finley, a graduate transfer from Boise State, both “did good things” in the closed scrimmage on Saturday, Doeren said.
There were no stats made available from the scrimmage. Doeren said: “They both moved the ball. They both had touchdown-scoring drives and neither of them threw an interception.”
If McClendon, who was Jacoby Brissett’s backup the last two years, is ahead in the race, as widely presumed, he’s not tipping his hand.
“It’s pretty even right now,” McClendon said. “I know coach should decide pretty soon, but I don’t know when.”
Asked if he knew more than he was letting on, McClendon laughed and said: “Nah, I don’t know the answer, either. I’m waiting just like you guys.”
McClendon has been at N.C. State longer, but Finley has an advantage in knowledge of coordinator Eli Drinkwitz’s offense. Finley spent the past two seasons at Boise State with Drinkwitz.
Finley also has an edge in experience over McClendon. Finley started three games for the Broncos last year before an ankle injury sidelined him for the season.
Finley completed 46 of 70 (65.7 percent) passes for 485 yards with one touchdown and four interceptions last year. McClendon, who hasn’t started since high school, completed 8 of 14 passes for 69 yards as Brissett’s backup.
Both McClendon and Finley worked with the first-team offense in Saturday’s scrimmage. McClendon said he enjoyed getting a chance to play in the stadium.
“I thought I did all right,” McClendon said. “There’s still a lot of stuff we have to tweak and get better at. Overall, I thought we did pretty good.”
Newcomer Joe Scelfo, a graduate transfer from South Alabama, wasn’t eager to share any information about the quarterbacks, either. Scelfo, who will be the starting center, sounded very much like the coach’s son that he is when asked about how McClendon and Finley fared in the scrimmage.
“Honestly, I didn’t really watch them,” Scelfo said. “I’ve got faith in both of them.”
Redshirt freshman Jakobi Meyers also got some work in the scrimmage, Doeren said. Meyers has been slowed by an ankle injury and has fallen behind McClendon and Finley in what was expected to be a three-man race.
Doeren said that Meyers, who was sidelined for most of his redshirt year with a knee injury, was back at full speed.
“He just has to absorb the playbook now and make sure that he’s functioning within the system,” Doeren said.
Notes: Senior tight end Clark Eyers, senior quarterback Josh Taylor and junior linebacker Ford Howell were awarded scholarships on Monday. The former walk-ons were surprised with the announcement during a team meeting.
“They’ve been here for a while, and they’ve earned it,” Doeren said. “I was happy for them.”
Giglio: 919-829-8938, @jwgiglio