UMass signs JUCO quarterback Michael Curtis

  • McGuirk Stadium, home of the UMass Minutemen. GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

Monday, December 19, 2016

UMass will have another quarterback in the mix when spring football starts. Michael Curtis, a junior college transfer from Texas, has signed, will enroll next month and participate in spring practice.

Curtis, a 6-foot-3, 205-pound Richardson, Texas, native completed 190 of 320 passes for 2,311 yards for Trinity Valley Community College in 2016. He threw 24 touchdowns, was intercepted six times and sacked once as he led the Cardinals to an 11-1 record. He was named the MVP of the Heart of Texas Bowl against Northwest Mississippi CC.

“He’s got some pretty good ability at the quarterback position,” said UMass quarterbacks coach Scott Woodward. “He can make all the throws. He’s very athletic. He’s not the type of guy who looks to run, but can if he needs to. He came up on the visit and fell in love with the place and we fell in love with him. It’s a good match.”

According to 247Sports, which ranked him a two-star prospect, he had offers from FCS teams and interest from a handful of Power Five schools, including Central Florida and Texas Tech. He’ll be a redshirt sophomore at UMass with three years of eligibility remaining.

Curtis said his visit to Amherst was earlier this month and interactions with coach Mark Whipple and Woodward sold him on becoming a Minuteman.

“I loved it. I loved Coach Whipple and Coach Woody,” he said. “I met a lot of the players that night. I loved the attitude, the culture and what they’re trying to build.”

Curtis joins a roster with two quarterbacks who have started — Andrew Ford and Ross Comis — and a third — Randall West — who has spent two seasons in the system.

Woodward was glad Curtis will be arriving in January.

“It was big for us to get him here for the spring,” Woodward said. “There’s more focus on developing kids and getting better in the spring. Getting him here for the next semester is going to be huge for him.”

Curtis will compete with Ford and West in the spring. Comis, who started early in the season before suffering a season-ending knee injury, could potentially throw during the spring, but is expected to be limited according to Woodward.

Curtis was eager to compete.

“Competition breeds success,” he said. “They have Andrew and Ross there, who both played already and unfortunately Ross got hurt. Without a doubt I’m coming in there to win the starting job. That’s my goal. Hopefully it happens. Either way the competition will make us all better.”

Woodward didn’t expect to add another quarterback on signing day in February.

Matt Vautour can be reached at mvautour@gazettenet.com. Get UMass coverage delivered in your Facebook news feed at www.facebook.com/GazetteUMassCoverage