South Carolina got a good look this spring at Brendan Nosovitch and Connor Mitch, the team's quarterbacks of the future.
The key word there? Future.
While they made "quite a bit" of progress in the Gamecocks' 15 spring practices, quarterbacks coach G.A. Mangus said, both have a long way to go.
"That's what is expected of them right now," Mangus said. "They're not expected to be ready to play today. But they've done a good job this spring. They're going to be fine."
With senior Connor Shaw and redshirt junior Dylan Thompson entrenched atop the depth chart, Nosovitch and Mitch were preparing for what might be - in 2014 or 2015.
At least that's what coaches are hoping.
"I'm hoping that No. 3 doesn't have to play," Mangus said.
Nosovitch, a redshirt freshman from Allentown, Pa., unofficially has the edge for that No. 3 role heading into the fall. He's the most comfortable and experienced among the young quarterbacks, Mangus said, even though he's been on campus less than a year.
"I know my plays a lot better. Everything is better," Nosovitch said. "I feel like when fall comes around I will be ready to play."
Nosovitch was 11-for-15 in the spring game for 146 and two touchdowns. Mitch was 5-for-9 for 133 yards and a score.
Both put up eye-popping numbers in high school. And both had the same assessment of how the speed of the game changed since the start of spring practice: It's much slower now.
"The first couple practices, everything was going a thousand mile per hour," said Mitch, a true freshman from Raleigh. "It comes in time. You just have to take it day by day and learn piece by piece of the playbook. Then you can put it all together."
Mitch showed promise but also did things typical of a newcomer, Mangus said.
"Connor goes up and down, as most freshman that are supposed to be going to prom will do," Mangus said. "He's done some good things. He'll have a big summer ahead of him."
Nosovitch spent his redshirt year leading the scout team into battle each week during practice. His only time running South Carolina's offense was during the team's Monday night workouts.
"Spring time is the first time they get in the playbook," Mangus said. "He did a great job running everybody else's plays all fall and did a good job on Monday nights. He showed a lot of promise then. Now he's better and more comfortable actually running our stuff on a daily basis."
Still, spring is not the time to worry about the battle for No. 3, Mangus said.
It is the time for formal wear, limousines, corsages and boutonnieres. Right?
"I'd much rather be here than prom," Mitch said. "I've done that before. I don't need to do that again."
More about Brendan Nosovitch
... Won the Maxwell Football Club's first Pennsylvania Player of the Year award and was named to the PARADE All-America football team following his senior season
... Led Central Catholic to a state title as a junior and reached the Class 3A state semifinals as a senior.
... Threw for 3,809 yards and 39 touchdowns and rushed for 852 yards and 14 touchdowns as a senior. Rushed for 1,647 yards and 25 touchdowns and threw for 3,112 yards and 43 scores as a junior.
... Is the Pennsylvania's career record-holder with 12,877 total yards and second all-time in the state in passing yards (9,249) and touchdown passes (106)
... A consensus three-star recruit, he also had offers from Clemson, Maryland, Georgia Tech, Virginia and Temple among others.
More about Connor Mitch
... Ranks second in four career categories in North Carolina high school history, passing for 12,078 yards with 1,384 attempts, 807 completions and 153 touchdowns
... Threw for 4,661 yards and 63 touchdowns while completing 62 percent of his passes as a senior, leading the Wolverines to an 11-2 record. As a junior, threw for 3,832 yards and 48 touchdowns as the team went 9-3.
... Set the state record with nine touchdown passes in a win over Broughton, one shy of the national record.
... Consider a four-star prospect by most rankings, he chose the Gamecocks over Alabama, LSU, Auburn and North Carolina.