But Buchanan showed a lot of quickness and poise in his brief outing, a display not lost on Restic this fall. Perhaps more important, insiders say, Buchanan best understands the mysteries of Restic's Multiflex system.
This fall marks the return of Brian Buckley, the quarterback who was supposed to fill Larry Brown's shoes after Brownie took off in search of the Astrodome. He had impressive credentials: 26 completions as a sophomore, a 6-ft., 3-in., 195-1b. frame, and a classy, standup, lefty style. Restic agrees, "Buckley throws the ball very well; he's the best pure passer of the group."
But "eligibility problems" moved Buckley from heir apparant to just one of the pack. Restic's longstanding, if unstated, preference for playing seniors works in Buckley's favor-if that's enough to get him the job is hard it tell.
And then there is Ron Cuccia. This exchange, conducted in Los Angeles this summer, reveals something about Cuccia's background.
L.A. resident: Oh, you go to Harvard. That's where Ron Cuccia goes.
Harvard student: You know Ron Cuccia?
L.A. resident: Know Ron Cuccia? Man, this guy was God out here.
Ron Cuccia is the mystery man in all this. The guy was all everything in Southern California, probably the most publicized high school athlete of the '70s, Los Angeles players of the year in '75, '76 and '77.
And his year in the yard seemed to back up the hype. Despite injuries (always a threat to this 5-ft. 8-in., 155 pounder), he electrified crowds and didn't lose a single game. Then came "eligibility problems" as a sophomore and a direct return to "Go" --do not collect varsity experience. Sound familiar?
Restic insists that Cuccia remains in the running for quarterback, but consistent rumors have the Angeleno in the line-up even if the signal-caller slot is filled. "If we see a place for Ron in another director (besides quarterback), we'll use him," Restic says, adding, "We want to get the best players out there on the field and Ron is very talented." So look for Cuccia at flanker or end, and remember how much Restic loves those passrun options and reverses.
Lahti has a strong arm and style similar to Buckley's, and Marion, whom Restic says has "looked very impressive," is a rangey Pennsylvanian. Allard is a Winchester product and a top prospect in baseball as well as football.
Restic vows to name a number one man soon after a scrimmage September 6, but declines to name a favorite. The consensus at this point is that the team as a whole stands to gain the most as a result of the struggle. As senior captain Chuck Durst puts it, "Naturally, it's great to have umpteen many quarterbacks. It'll improve the quarterback who's going to start." And perhaps most critically, he adds, "And this year we're not really worried about losing a quarterback but confident someone else could repalce him."
Nell Scovell assisted with the research on this article.
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