It's no contest: Chase Rettig is still the starting quarterback of the Boston College Eagles. Rettig struggled through the spring game, but that wasn't enough to change the mind of Eagles coach Frank Spaziani.
Frank Spaziani's mind wasn't going to be changed by a poor performance in a meaningless spring game. He already knew who was going to be taking the snaps under center come next September, and he certainly wasn't about to create a quarterback controversy.
"Chase is our number one quarterback right now," Spaziani said. "As I've said before, over and over again, the jersey isn't tattooed on anybody, and you know Chase was obviously productive and finished last year. But he's got to keep making progress. We don't want our starting quarterback to look over his shoulder, but we still want him to get better. There's competition there, and coach [Doug] Martin will figure it out. Chase is our starting quarterback, and that's the way we are right now. But nothing's tattooed on anybody."
Rettig now has two seasons under his belt at Boston College, but the numbers aren't particularly impressive. Rettig has a career quarterback rating of 109.8 and had a 112.4 rating last season, ranking him 103rd out of 115 eligible Division I quarterbacks. He has 3,198 career passing yards and a career 52.7 completion percentage. Not to mention, 18 touchdowns and 18 interceptions.
His performance in Saturday's annual Jay McGillis Memorial Spring Football Game didn't help his case, either. Rettig threw an interception on his second drive of the game and finished with 120 passing yards on 13-of-23 passing, one touchdown and two picks. Rettig's lone score was a 31-yard strike to Alex Amidon up the middle in the first half.
BC's quarterbacks went 29-for-54 and had 386 passing yards, four touchdowns and five picks.
"We turned the ball over too much, everyone," said Rettig. "We've got some guys banged up. The spring has been really progressing nicely, so I think guys are looking forward to getting healthy and getting back here in the summer and keep progressing until we play Miami on September 1."
Rettig insists that, despite his individual struggles, he has not been discouraged by his play.
"No, not at all," he said. "Just keep playing plays, and only the guys on the field know what went wrong, whatever. I don't think anyone should be discouraged. [If] anything, just learn from it. You just keep playing, keep going to the next play. That's a big thing we have this year is just keep playing. Run as many plays as you can, who cares what happens on one play, just go to the next one. Keep disrupting the defense."
Of course, Rettig's performance would not be an issue if he was the only quarterback on the roster. But he isn't. Boston College has five quarterbacks on the depth chart, including Bordner, Mike Marscovetra, Dave Shinskie and Christian Suntrup, all of whom played on Saturday.
"I thought we had a couple throws that we probably shouldn't have made," Spaziani said about the quarterbacks. "We had some receiver issues, you know, guys not running the right route a couple of times. I think the quarterbacks in general have had a good spring and did a good job today."
Bordner was by far the most impressive quarterback Saturday, going 8-for-18 for 159 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. Bordner, who is known more for his rushing ability than his arm, even put his improved passing skills on display, finding freshman receiver Karim Zoungrana wide open down the left sideline for a 66-yard touchdown pass.
"As a whole, we did well," Bordner said after the game. "We turned it over way too many times. I would say for my performance, I could definitely do a lot better. I made a few mental mistakes, some bad passes. Overall, I think we had a good spring. The offense really came together as a whole, so we're looking forward to next season."
Even though Spaziani publicly backed Rettig, the quarterbacks said they don't know who will start. Rettig, though, said that he feels like he should be the starter heading into the new season.
"I can't really answer that question," said Rettig. "[Spaziani] doesn't clarify, there's no list. Obviously I feel that way. Other quarterbacks are playing well, and that's always good for competition."
Bordner, on the other hand, said that he doesn't believe Spaziani has made his decision yet.
"He hasn't designated it yet," Bordner said. "We'll definitely see in the summer. But we all have to improve, and we'll see in camp who comes out with it. It's always good to compete, it's much needed for all the quarterbacks. We're looking forward to camp and the summer."
Bordner, who had 37 passing yards and one pick last year, was tossed into the mix late last season to be used for some running plays and admits that, at times, he had deer in the headlights syndrome. But looking back, it was valuable experience.
"It's definitely like really good experience getting in the games, competing and just feeling what it's like out there," he said. "Right when I got out there, I probably looked like a deer in the headlights. But it was a lot of fun, I enjoyed it. It doesn't get much better than playing college football, so I really enjoyed it."
Spaziani has different plans, saying that he isn't expecting to work Bordner in again with Rettig.
"I don't think we [would]," said Spaziani. "Last year we did that a little bit because of our running back situation, we didn't have a running back. We're in a little bit different mode right now. I don't think that will be the case."
Rettig's career at BC hasn't yielded much success so far, but Spaziani clearly isn't thinking about making a change right now. There's still a lot of time before opening kickoff in the fall, but right now, Rettig is the future of Boston College football, and everyone will need to get used to it.