Stony Brook running back Ty Son Lawton runs between two Albany...

Stony Brook running back Ty Son Lawton runs between two Albany defenders on Nov. 20, 2021, at Lavalle Stadium. Credit: George A. Faella

There will be an open quarterback competition when Stony Brook football opens camp next week. What won’t be much of a competition, however, is who those quarterbacks willl be handing the ball off to in the backfield.

Redshirt senior running back Ty Son Lawton was named CAA Preseason Offensive Player of the Year, the conference announced Thursday morning prior to their annual media day zoom press conferences.

Lawton, the first Stony Brook player to earn that specific honor, rushed for 1,088 yards and 10 touchdowns on 216 carries last season. He was the CAA’s top rusher, averaging 98.9 yards per game and had a 99-yard touchdown run in a win over Delaware last year.

“His vision and patience as a runner is really awesome to see,” Stony Brook graduate offensive lineman and East Islip native Kyle Nunez said. “When you go in and break down the film after a game, it's like ‘wow, he found yards when they weren't there.’  That's something special as a runner that you look for as an offensive line. You know you can get three yards and a cloud of dust with him and he's going to go get those yards when we need it.”

Nunez and redshirt sophomore linebacker Tyler King were selected to the CAA Preseason All-Conference Team. Stony Brook was picked seventh in the CAA preseason poll. Villanova, who lost in the quarterfinal of the Division I Football Championship last season, was selected first.

As for who will be handing Lawton the football, that’s more wide open. With Tyquell Fields gone, the Seawolves' passing pallet is clean. Redshirt senior Joshua Zamot is the only quarterback on the roster who threw a pass for Stony Brook last season – four of them, one of which was intercepted. Zamot, along with redshirt sophomore and Connetquot High School alum Drew Guttieri and redshirt freshman Daron Bryden, will spend August trying to wrap up the starting spot.

“For the first time in my career here, I think we have three quarterbacks that can win CAA games when we walk on the field,” Stony Brook head coach Chuck Priore said. “We split the reps in thirds this spring and each guy represented themselves very well. I like that depth chart. The first 10 days is going to be very important for them and I think we'll be equipped to probably be able to name a starter somewhere midway through [camp].”

Priore said all the quarterbacks know the playbook, can lead in the huddle and have those essential off-the-field quarterback qualities. That leaves one thing – who plays better in the first weeks  of camp.

Which quarterback will get the Seawolves to 28 points? Stony Brook, who finished 5-6 overall and 4-4 in the CAA last fall, won every conference game when they hit that number and lost all in which they didn’t.

“You got to be able to score four touchdowns in this league,” Priore said. "We lost three CAA games in the beginning of the year and they were all last-possession games. These games are all going to be close games and you’ve got to be able to figure out how to win the close game.”

Stony Brook opens the season at home against conference rival Rhode Island on Sept. 1.  

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