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Famous QB names guiding FCS offenses

By CRAIG HALEY

STATS FCS Senior Editor

(STATS) - (STATS) - The names of the quarterbacks are so familiar.

Flacco. Newton. Testaverde.

On the FCS level, they don't belong to you-know-who, they're players who are carving out their own identities in the family business.

Towson has a new starter in Tom Flacco, the younger brother of Baltimore Ravens quarterback and Super Bowl MVP XLVII Joe Flacco.

Howard features Caylin Newton, the younger brother of 2010 Heisman Trophy winner and Carolina Hurricanes quarterback Cam Newton.

Albany has turned its offense over to Vincent Testaverde, the son of 1986 Heisman winner and former NFL quarterback Vinny Testaverde.

All three signal callers were impressive when their teams opened the new season last Saturday.

At Howard, it was a continuation from last year. Caylin Newton stepped in as a true freshman and earned the MEAC freshman of the year award, becoming the first rookie in conference history to surpass 3,000 yards of total offense.

The 6-foot, 195-pound dual-threat showed a week ago there likely won't be a sophomore slump. He led all FCS players with 532 yards of a total offense in Howard's 38-32 loss to Ohio. He rushed for 93 yards and a touchdown on 21 carries and completed 26 of 52 passes for 439 yards, three interceptions and two touchdowns

"His ability to understand the coverages and the pre-snap reads and the post-snaps," coach Mike London said, "which is sometimes difficult for young quarterbacks (where) you'll show him a pre-snap read and then all of a sudden after the snap, defenses will rotate. He did a really good job of reading those components and (know) where to go with the ball."

Tom Flacco is a unique transfer because he entered the season with two years of eligibility remaining even though he's a college graduate. The 6-1, 208-pound redshirt junior made 13 appearances for Western Michigan in 2015 and '16 before sitting out last season as a walk-on transfer at Rutgers. He graduated from Rutgers last spring,

Flacco showed solid command of the offense in Towson's 36-10 win over Morgan State. He was 18 of 28 for 245 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.

"He had his jitters to start, that's for sure," coach Rob Ambrose said, "didn't play a flawless game, but he did play well and did the things we asked him to do, handled some adverse situations extremely well and led the team all day long. He's 1-0 as a starter. It's good to get him back under center."

Like Flacco, Vincent Testaverde was a member of two FBS programs. He made one appearance at Texas Tech in 2014, but transferred out and never played in the 2015 and '16 seasons at his father's alma mater, Miami. He sat out at Albany under NCAA transfer rules last year.

The 6-1, 211-pound Testaverde, a fifth-year senior, was 18 of 29 for 263 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions in a 33-7 loss to Pittsburgh.

"He has the tools, but he hadn't played a game in four years," coach Greg Gattuso said. "You don't know until when you get hit. He stepped up and took a pretty bad shot and made the completion. I had to take him out for a play, but he went right back in, so that was encouraging. So we were pleased with Vincent's first start. It was a good one."

Updated September 7, 2018

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