Updated: Sunday, 30 Aug 2009, 4:14 PM EDT
Published : Sunday, 30 Aug 2009, 4:14 PM EDT
AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) - UMass coach Kevin Morris announced Saturday that junior college transfer Kyle Havens would be the Minutemen's starting quarterback when the team opens its season in one week at Kansas State. It ended the competition between Havens and Scott Woodward, a returning senior who has been the team's backup behind Liam Coen for the last three years.
"All camp long Kyle has done a great job. We've had excellent competition for the quarterback position. Kyle has led the way, said Morris. "He has had more efficient days, day-in and day-out making him the guy for Saturday (at Kansas State on Sept. 5).
"Kyle's the starting quarterback. It's his position to have and to hold as long as he can maintain us and get us into the end zone. With every position its competition all year long at UMass - quarterback included."
Havens transferred to UMass before last year's spring semester. A 6-foot-4, 220-pound junior college transfer from Concord, Calif., he is a junior with two years of eligibility.
"Come gameday, I have a real crazy desire to win. I'll do
anything to score and win and lead my team to victory. I'm going to
stay within the offense doing what I'm coached to do."
Junior Kyle Havens
"Now I know the guys are going to look at me and have to count on me a little bit more," said Havens. "I think I'm going to approach things pretty much the way I have been (doing). Hard work is what got me this position and secondly, its going to help us win games."
Havens played two years at Diablo Valley College. He was ranked the nation's 18th-best junior college quarterback by Scout.com. He threw for more than 300 yards per game each of the last two seasons.
"Its nice to know and be settled in the position, like I said not much will change. I'm just going to keep working hard and try to win football games ... I want to be perfect, I want to be the best I can be. I want to win, I expect to win.
"Come gameday, I have a real crazy desire to win," said Havens. "I'll do anything to score and win and lead my team to victory. I'm going to stay within the offense doing what I'm coached to do."
Havens said he has had to battle for the starting position in each of his first years whether it was in high school or his first year in junior college. "I feel that has helped me. I came into this ready, expecting ready to know what I was going to get (with competition). I knew this would be a battle, I knew nothing was going to get handed to me and that I would have to work my tail off for it."
"As you are going through camp you are looking for competition at a high level and I thought we had that," said Morris. "Its just a matter of time and a place for us to say let's end (the competition) now and get the leadership going."
UMass had four quarterbacks in camp. Octavious Hawkins and Spencer Whipple were the other candidates, but Havens and Woodward emerged as the favorites to start.
"There's no hard feelings between any one," said Havens. "We all still talk, it's the same as it was before. We understood it was going to be someone. Only one person can play, everyone's good."
Morris went on to say Havens has grown a lot of since the start of camp. "He has gotten a lot better. In terms of terminology, number one in terms of trying to understand what we are doing offensively and how the words fit the actions. At this point he pretty much has it under wraps it's just a matter fine tuning his skills within the offense."