Army quarterback A.J. Schurr has spent much of the last two seasons as a patient in a M*A*S*H unit. Or so it seemed. And Ahmad Bradshaw has taken advantage of Schurr’s time on the disabled list. Army head coach Jeff Monken made it official Monday, naming Bradshaw as the Black Knights’ starting quarterback. He will make his first appearance in an Army uniform Friday when his team opens the season against Fordham.
“Give credit to both Ahmad and A.J., they both worked very hard,” Monken said. “Ahmad was a little bit sharper and A.J. missed some time with some minor injuries after sitting out spring ball. Ahmad will be our starting quarterback and we know we have a very capable backup in A.J. who really knows our offense.”
As a sophomore, Schurr suffered an ankle injury that limited him to five games. Shoulder issues haunted him throughout last season – he had surgery for repairs in December – and into the spring. As if that wasn’t enough, he has recently been slowed by a pulled hamstring. Hence Bradshaw’s emergence in practice. It is Bradshaw who has practiced mostly with the first team, Schurr with the second. After analyzing practice and scrimmage films, Monken settled on Bradshaw as the starter.
Entering fall practice, it was still close to a flip of the coin as to who would be No. 1. But it is surely no coincidence that Bradshaw, a sophomore, was taking most of the snaps practicing with the starting offense
“No quarterback has pulled away from the other yet,” Monken said at the time. “A.J. at the beginning of camp, with having played, it put him ahead, but him being hurt has given Ahmad a chance to take a lot of reps with the first team, so that’s helped him. A.J., he’s been hurt at the start of camp. Hamstring. It’ll be interesting to see how that quarterback battle plays out. Ahmad and A.J. are at the top of the group right now. We have some young quarterbacks who are good for the future but right now the battle is between Ahmad and A.J. I don’t know if either has pulled ahead. Both are capable of being quarterback. It’ll be interesting to see who pulls out of the pack and has the confidence to lead our team.”
As a junior, Schurr served as the backup to Angel Santiago. Schurr started two games last season and competed in all 12. He rushed for 320 yards and three scores and threw for 242 yards and another touchdown. His best game ever came two seasons ago, when, in a 49-42 loss to Hawaii, he completed 5 of 10 passes for 122 yards, including a 48-yard completion. He also rushed for 47 yards and three touchdowns. And while it would seem natural that the experienced Schurr could replace Bradshaw if the sophomore struggles, Monken has said it would be his inclination to stick with the No. 1, whomever that would be. Come Friday, that will be Bradshaw.
Ohio State enters this season as the No. 1-ranked team in the country. There’s no telling what the Buckeyes’ status will be in 2017, but one thing is certain. They will play their first-ever game against Army. The teams will meet Sept. 16, 2017 in Columbus, Ohio.
“We’re excited to showcase our cadets in the Midwest against one of the best football programs in the country,” Army athletic director Boo Corrigan said. “This will be a first-class experience for our cadets as well as an opportunity for our fans to see a game at ‘The Horseshoe.’ ”