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UWA names Caldwell starter at quarterback

Published 4:53pm Friday, August 24, 2012

LIVINGSTON – University of West Alabama head football coach Will Hall has named Kyle Caldwell as the starting quarterback for the Tigers’ season opener Sept. 1 at Clark Atlanta, but Hall noted that both Caldwell and Gary Johnston will see action in the game.

The 2011 Gulf South Conference Offensive Freshman of the Year, Caldwell stepped into the starting role as a true freshman after Johnston injured his knee in the third game of the 2011 season, a week after being named the GSC Player of the Week.

“I believe we have the two best players at that position in the conference, maybe in the country at this level,” Hall said. “Kyle will take the first snap, but Gary is very much an integral part of our plan. Our team has complete confidence in either of these guys,” Hall said. “They are both fierce competitors and consummate team guys. They both love this football team and want to help us win in any way possible.”

A sophomore from Dadeville, Ala., Caldwell completed 108-of-190 passes for 1,499 yards and 12 touchdowns after Johnston was injured in the first half of a 45-7 win over Central State on Sept. 17. He also ran for 388 yards and two scores.

A junior from Gulf Shores, Ala., Johnston completed 30-of-54 for 358 yards and three scores while rushing 45 times for 196 yards and two touchdowns before anterior cruciate surgery ended his 2011 season.

Following a situational scrimmage on Wednesday, the Tigers began game plan work on Thursday for the season opener against the Panthers. Kickoff in Atlanta is set for 5 p.m. CDT.

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