Why I’m not worried about Randall starting: 1) Ability During the Spring of 2001, Randall and Mauck were reportedly neck-and-neck in the battle for the backup position behind Rohan. In the Spring Game of that year, Randall showed exceptional talent, and some thought he had a better game than Rohan. Saban never really declared Mauck or Randall the #2 guy behind Rohan, but many expected that Randall had taken over the second position. When Ro went down in the Florida game in 2001, Mauck came in. Saban indicated at the time that he put Mauck in over Randall because he was a little more mature and Saban thought he could handle the pressure of entering a game down against a top 10 team. Mauck did a nice job that day, but he also showed his limitations in throwing the ball. The offense late in the game with Mauck was similar to the offense we saw in the SEC Championship game and last week against Florida. Mauck never was needed to start a game in 2001, but when Rohan went down in the SEC Championship game, Mauck was the clear choice to back him up, due to his previous game experience. Entering spring practice this year, many considered the job of starting quarterback open to both Mauck and Randall. It appeared that it would be a battle that would not end until the Virginia Tech game. Randall seemed more of the passing type, but with an ability to use his feet. Mauck had some difficulty throwing the ball, but showed flashes of brilliance with his feet. Unfortunately, Randall went down on a freak injury, and the starting position was clearly settled. But, we should remember that Mauck did not clearly win the position until Randall’s injury. 2) Leadership Randall has shown throughout his career that he can perform in a leadership role. First, he was both starting quarterback of his high school football team and student body president. As we can all remember from high school, “jocks” are usually popular, but unless a jock is smart and capable, he or she usually is not involved in student government. Randall’s role at Glen Oaks indicates a natural ability to lead, both on and off the field. It also indicates an intelligence which should be helpful in game situations. Second, Randall recovered from his freak injury in record time, according to his coaches. Obviously, he had the will and desire to return as quickly as possible, and worked extremely hard to do so. Moreover, his work ethic and desire to return to the team must have been evident to his teammates and a sign that Randall can lead by example. According to reports, he was never dismayed about losing the potential starting position to Mauck and, like Rohan under Booty, acted as Mauck’s biggest fan and cheerleader. He simply worked his tail off to return to playing form. 3) Chemistry The final piece of this puzzle concerns the rest of the team this year. Several leaders have emerged since Rohan left LSU, including Bradie James, Domanick Davis, etc. Last year, Rohan was clearly the leader of the team. It was amazing that the team responded as it did in the SECC when Ro went down, since Ro was also the inspirational leader of the team. Mauck, although a very capable leader of the offense and team, does not seem to have that mystical hold on the team that perhaps Rohan had. The loss of Mauck will not damage the psyche of the team as the loss of Rohan would have at this time last year. The team has enough leaders on both sides of the ball to move on from this setback and continue to play as it has in the last few games. All in all, Mauck’s loss and the entrance of Randall into the starting position does not concern me at all. Randall is a capable backup and, quite possibly, will perform better than Mauck. Randall is a natural leader, and he can slip right into the void left by Mauck to guide this team the rest of the year. There is no need to worry.