HENNESSEY, Okla. —
Luetjen couldn’t have known how soon those preparations would come into play, but he, and Hatchel, weren’t any less endorsing of Mendoza once his ascent to QB1 was made official.
“Our game plan would be the same this week whether it was Tony or Dylan, so we’re not changing anything there,” Luetjen said.
“I think he’ll be fine,” Hatchel added. “He throws the ball fine. He’s really athletic. The only thing he needs to catch on is the mental aspect of the game, being a leader, reading coverages, stuff like that.”
Hennessey won’t completely ditch the read option look it’s used in its first three games, but likely will reduce Mendoza’s carries compared to Hatchel’s. Mendoza doubled as a reserve tailback for the Eagles, and could excel as a runner in the offense, but the Eagles have virtually no experience behind Mendoza at the position, with freshman Ashton Rapp taking snaps alongside Mendoza during Wednesday’s practice.
Mendoza will make his first career varsity start at quarterback at 7:30 p.m. Friday against visiting Tulsa NOAH (0-3), and Hatchel will begin rehab after surgery with the goal of preparing for a chance to play at the collegiate level.
“I don’t know about offers (or whether the injury affects them),” said Hatchel, who turned heads during a preseason workout and seven-on-seven camp at Southwestern Oklahoma State University in Weatherford. “I’ll definitely take my chances walking on somewhere.”