The North Texas Mean Green made their starting quarterback known on Tuesday, as head coach Eric Morris detailed to reporters. Despite bringing in Chandler Rogers as a highly sought-after transfer portal acquisition, it will be Stone Earle making the start for the Mean Green when they open their season.
North Texas HC Eric Morris Names Stone Earle Starter
The Mean Green brought in the aforementioned Rogers as a marquee member of their offseason roster turnover under Morris’ new regime. Yet, as Morris stated on Tuesday, it’s Earle that will enter Week 1 as the starting quarterback.
“It’s been a great battle, Stone will run out there first with the ones, but you’re going to see Chandler this year,” Morris told reporters. “Chandler hasn’t done anything wrong but when you look over the course of the whole entire camp, the ball has moved well with Stone in there.”
MORE: AAC Season Predictions
The battle began when Morris was named the new head coach despite landing on the backburner of the national media attention surrounding the Mean Green’s quarterback position.
This spring, former longtime UNT QB Austin Aune reported entered the transfer portal, then returned to the program, before ultimately landing on the Atlanta Falcons summer workout roster. Aune, who had previously spent time with the New York Yankees as a second-round pick in the 2012 MLB Draft, gave optimism that the Mean Green wouldn’t have to turn to a new starter under Morris, even if there were unclear reports around his eligibility.
In the end, the battle reportedly came down to a final weekend scrimmage and included Earle vs. Rogers as the final contenders. Though Earle was named the starter, it’s clear to say that Morris will expect both quarterbacks to continue their battle into the season.
“They’re both going to get reps,” Morris said. “I’m a big believer in once you find your guy, I’m not a huge guy who rotates. But when you look at the body of work they’ve both put into it, they both deserve to play football for this team.”
The Mean Green have a legitimate chance at making Week 1’s upset watch as they play the California Golden Bears, who are fighting from the bottom of the Pac-12 power rankings.
In both quarterbacks, however, Morris said he feels comfortable with them leading the program.
“I feel really comfortable with those two guys and feel really excited for them to take us into the future,” Morris said.
Earle entered the picture at North Texas after two seasons with Abilene Christian. There, he started the first seven games of the 2021 season and threw for 1,216 yards with 13 touchdowns against just four interceptions.
A standout at Birdville High School in North Richland Hills, Earle was a prep star in Texas, tossing 67 touchdowns over his final two seasons in high school.
It’s clear that Earle can sling it, and he may just be getting started.
“It’s been fun to watch (Earle’s) growth and see him develop into not only a guy that had wildcat packages for him last year, but who helped his game (this fall),” Morris said.
The Mean Green play at Cal on Saturday, September 2, at 4 p.m ET.