4 contenders for VUU QB post next season

Fred Jeter | 2/15/2019, 6 a.m.
Coach Parker contends he has four solid candidates to replace departing senior Darius Taylor as the Panthers’ signal caller.

Virginia Union University football Coach Alvin Parker is confident he’ll have a strong quarterback for the upcoming season.

He’s just not too sure who it’ll be at this point.

Coach Parker contends he has four solid candidates to replace departing senior Darius Taylor as the Panthers’ signal caller.

“It’s going to be good competition (during spring practice in late March) and right now it’s wide open,” Coach Parker said.

“I’ll be happy to hand the keys to our offense to any one of them.”

The already crowded field squeezed tighter with the recent addition of Khalid Morris, who is transferring from ASA College, New York City.

The 6-foot-1, 210-pounder passed for 1,599 yards and 18 touchdowns in just eight games this past season while being named to the All-Northeast Conference Team.

Morris, who played locally at Thomas Dale High, will have two seasons of eligibility.

The other candidates are all returnees.

E’Mond Caldwell, from Lee High in Sanford, N.C., will be a senior and was Taylor’s top backup this past season, passing for two touchdowns.

Erwin “E.J.” Faison is a junior who transferred from Mississippi Valley State. Faison is a former standout at Norview High in Norfolk where he was among Virginia’s most recruited QBs.

Talented sophomore-to-be Khalil Wright hails from H.D. Woodson High in Washington, D.C., Parker’s hometown.

There are big shoulder pads to fill at the quarterback position.

Taylor passed for 1,768 yards and 20 touchdowns, and ran for 465 yards and another two TDs.

Whoever wins the QB battle will have an attractive target in Jaylen Bradshaw, a transfer from Virginia Tech with two years of eligibility.

Bradshaw was a first team Class 6 wide receiver who helped Oscar Smith High School of Chesapeake to the 6A championship game.

Coach Parker’s 13-man recruiting class includes two Huguenot High Falcons — 290-pound offensive lineman Tim James and safety Demari Walker.

The signee traveling the farthest is Kofi Kari-Kari, a 6-foot-5, 280-pound lineman from Culver City, Calif.

Coach Parker will open his second season as VUU’s head coach against longtime VUU foe Hampton University, at 6 p.m. Sept. 7 in Hampton.

The VUU-HU rivalry dates to 1906 but the HBCUs have not met since 1994 when the Pirates were in Division II CIAA. The series is tied, 40-40-3.            

Coach Parker indicated the contract with HU is for more than one year and that the Pirates will be coming to Richmond sometime in the future.

There is plenty of momentum on Lombardy Street.

VUU is coming off an 8-2 season in which it won seven of its last eight games, narrowly missing the Division II playoffs.

The Panthers scored 452 points while being led by rising junior Tabyus Taylor. The punishing 250-pound, All-CIAA tailback from Hopewell rushed for 1,546 yards and 21 touchdowns.