The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have yet to completely fill out the quarterback room, and a new record-setting signal caller will get his shot.
That’s former Georgia Southern quarterback Kyle Vantrease, who piled on records in one year for a program that won six FCS championships before joining the FBS in 2014. Among his numerous records, Vantrease posted the most 300-yard passing games, most touchdown passes in a season, and he helped two receivers set the program’s single-game marks for receptions.
The Bucs gave Vantrease a rookie minicamp invite for May 12-14 according to FOX Sports’ Greg Auman. Tampa Bay only has Baker Mayfield and Kyle Trask on the active roster, and the team didn’t draft a quarterback. The Bucs also invited Southeastern standout Kaylan Wiggins and Incarnate Word’s Lindsey Scott after the draft to participate in minicamp, Auman noted.
Vantrease tallied 4,253 yards and 27 touchdowns versus 16 interceptions for the Eagles in 2022, Auman wrote. Before Georgia Southern, Vantrease played for the Buffalo Bulls where he amassed 4,755 yards and 25 touchdowns versus 13 interceptions in 25 game appearances over five years, Auman noted.
Part of Vantrease’s record-setting success with a former small-school power stems from change in offense. Georgia Southern moved from its longtime triple-option offense to the air raid in 2022. Vantrease will now try out for a Bucs squad that will revamp its offense — albeit not as drastically — under new offensive coordinator Dave Canales.
How Kyle Vantrease Could Benefit the Bucs
Pro Football Network’s Tony Pauline noted that Vantrease “remains poised under the rush” and has “enough mobility” to make plays with his legs. Pauline noted that Vantrease “must improve his pass placement” to do well in the NFL.
“Vantrease is a nice-sized pocket passer who completed 61% of his throws for more than 4,200 yards last year,” Pauline wrote. “He must improve his decision-making and field vision, but he has enough upside to get practice-squad consideration.”
Vantrease could fit in with the Bucs as the practice squad quarterback after the departure of longtime practice squad signal caller Ryan Griffin. The Bucs had Griffin under contract for a franchise record eight-consecutive years.
Former Georgia Southern players have done well in the NFL before, including former triple-option quarterback Jerick McKinnon. Now a running back for the Kansas City Chiefs, McKinnon most famously avoided scoring a touchdown to help the Chiefs run out the clock in this year’s Super Bowl win over the Philadelphia Eagles.
Bucs Plan to Add Veteran Quarterback
Since Vantrease, or his rookie minicamp competitors, may only make the practice squad, the Bucs likely will seek a veteran for the third roster spot. Bucs general manager Jason Licht confirmed that in a recent interview with WDAE.
“We probably would like to bring in a vet. Just somebody that has been there done that and can be in that room with them, not necessarily somebody that we think is going to take over the competition,” Licht said on WDAE via JoeBucsFan.com. “But somebody that can just add to that room. We’ve got a few options that we’re keeping in mind.”
The Bucs have carried as many as four quarterbacks between the roster and practice squad before. That happened the past two years with Tom Brady, Blaine Gabbert, Trask, and Griffin.