Friday, November 17, 2006

QB Recruiting? Should We have Faith in the System?

Recruiting is one of the most important jobs a head coach has with respect to a college football team. While it is important to get results on the field, day in and day out being able to provide the players to work in the system is just as important as any other aspect of a college football system. Pat Hill runs the pro style offense with the run being the number one feature of the system. Because Hill loves to lead with the run he in turn recruits QB's that will generally fit into the pro style system. Unfortunately this season our QB situation has not allowed the pro style system to flourish as it has in the past. One major aspect of a pro style offense is having a QB who can convert the third and long situations more often than not. The reason for this is sometimes defenses are able to stop the run on first and second down putting the offense in a third and long situation. Paul Pinegar was able to make this throw at least 50% of the time, something our QB's have not bee able to do this season. With that I wanted to run through the QB's Pat Hill has recruite up to this point and discuss if they have been successful or not. I think the results might surprise most people that have watched Bulldog football over the past ten years.
Billy Volek: The first QB of the Pat Hill era may even be considered the best overall QB in Fresno State history. Volek had one of the best senior seasons in college football history in 1999 when he threw for 30 td's and 3 int's. He also set the NCAA record for fewest interceptions per pass attempt thrown. However, Volek was brought into the Fresno State system under Jim Sweeney. Do not be fooled and give Pat Hill credit for this kid. He was an outstanding QB but he came along when Sweeney ran the show, not Pat Hill.

David Carr: It almost seems as if we give Pat Hill a pass for every bad QB he has brought into State because of David Carr. What should be realized is Pat Hill did not have to recruit David Carr, Carr did not want to go anywhere else. For Carr there was never a question of where he wanted to go, he grew up a Bulldog fan and had dreams of playing QB for the Dogs. He did an outstanding job for Fresno State and ended up the most decorated Bulldog QB of all time. However, once again giving Hill all of the credit for getting this kid would be wrong. Carr was not going anywhere else and had decided on Fresno State well before there was a Pat Hill to recruit him.

Jordan Christensen: The future of Fresno State football never truly grasped the Bulldogs offensive system. Although he has been great for the special teams Hill made a terrible mistake by proclaiming this 2 star recruit as the next great thing at Fresno State. While Christensen had the skills his throwing motion and football mind just did not fit into the college football world.

Jeff Grady: We all struggled through the Jeff Grady years together. The replacement for David Carr, Grady could never quite get on track. He was injury prone and could not make a big throw. He led the Dogs to a win at home against Oregon State but is remembered for being injured and the numerous mistakes he made while playing QB at State.

Paul Pinegar: Pinegar was never supposed to play for Fresno State. Christensen was anointed the next great thing while Jeff Grady was named the starter ahead of Pinegar. If things went the way Hill had wanted them to Grady would have started for two years with Christensen replacing him when he graduated. Pinegar would have served as a career backup, kind of what Christensen has become. Instead injuries allowed Pinegar a chance to play and he did not disappoint for the most part.

Tom Brandstater: An experiment still currently taking place. Will Brandstater ever develop into the QB Hill believes he is? Brandstater has turned into another QB that has not panned out for Pat Hill, and that is what I wanted to prove in this blog. Having faith in the QB's Hill brings into the system is something I cannot say I do anymore. I hear so much about how tough this Colburn kid is but I keep thinking he played D5 high school football for CVC. I don't think he is going to be able to come into Fresno State's complicated system and flourish as easily as the coaches for the Bulldogs are making it sound. I understand that recruiting is hit or miss, but with respect to QB's Hill has failed more often than not. The Bulldogs are in a rut right now and need to find that QB that can make the big throw on third down. Hill will not even consider Norton as a QB and I feel like he is the only one on the roster who can make that throw if he has to.

I guess I just worry that we will be in a rut like this for a couple of years into the future. After the 2001 season the Bulldogs did win nine games for each of the next three seasons, but we all know as Bulldog fans that those seasons were far from impressive. The QB play was erratic then and it looks to be even worse now. In order to be a successful football team your QB needs to be a team leader and I don't feel like our QB now is that. He needs to step up and take charge of the team the way Carr, Volek, and Dilfer did for the Bulldogs during their years at state. I don't care if it is Brandstater, Norton, or Colburn someone needs to take charge of the team on offense. If they don't this team will be a lost cause for the next three years, something I am sure most Bulldog fans do not want to see happen.


Anonymous said...

Just wondering what your background is in football.Coach?player?Also I'm concerned because I thought this was a site I could come to and get the latest news on my Bulldogs.Lately it's just a place to go for Pat Hill bashing.This Blog has become very negative and That is not the Bulldog way.I don't claim to know what has happened to our Bulldogs this year,but Pat has been here for ten years and has been loyal.Most coaches wouldn't have stayed this long.Don't forget how many assistant coaches we lost this year.Perhaps the chemistry isn't the same.I don't think the scheme is the problem,but I would agree that lack of adjustment in the scheme after the half is a problem.Just really frustrated.

Anonymous said...

nsc you have been correct on everything. Being honest offends those who want everything sugar coated. Hill and his staff would be gone at the end of the year if he were at any other program. How about that first yeaar head coach at Boise. He and his two 29 year old coordinators on both sides of the ball are in their first year and are doing somethin Hill has been trying for 10 years. Look how many coaches Boise has lost from last year. Look how many coaches USC has lost over the past two years. Hill needs to be bashed just as his team has been getting bashed on the field. Who is responsible for putting that product out onto the field?

nsc said...

Anonymous (1) I am not trying to necessarily bash Hill, but instead point out some of the things I have problems with. I mean if you read the blog daily it isn't like I am writing things that aren't true. I just speak of what I know and I have felt for a long time that we do not have the players to be as successful as Hill wants to be. If he wants to be a big time part of college football he needs to find players to make it happen.

I actually used to think the sceme on offense was the problem. If that were true we wouldn't have score 37 points a game last season. Our offense is pretty much the same (run oriented with a pass here and there) but we dont have the one guy to make the big play this year. We need the one guy to make the big play and it just isn't happening.

Anyhow truth is if i write positive i get no responses. If I find something negative to write about i get more views and more responses. I like that people read the blog and I would like more to read it. I just have to find topics you are all interesed in. I am sorry if you dont approve of what i write but most dont seem to have a problem with it. I could report the kool aid the dogs have to offer but that just isnt true and I don't want to lie.

Anonymous said...

NSC, I have been a faithfull Hill supporter until this year. With the end of last year's season a fiasco, my response to those wanting major change was to give the Captain time to right the ship. This year's campaign was the chance, yet the outcome may have done irreversible damage to our program. PH himself said after the Utah State game that our reputation was gone, and we would have to start all over.

The college game is dynamic and continually evolving. Creativity is a requirement to get past mediocrity. Hill played his cards well:"Anyone, anytime, anywhere,""giant-slayer," "us- against-the-world," "smashmouth," etc., but in the end they were not strong enough. The game may have passed him by; or is there another explanation for how he is consistently out-coached--and our team outplayed--by less-talented programs?

We need to hire a creative, inventive, and motivating coach to build on what Hill, Sweeny, and others have taken as far as they can. Relying on big-game motivation rather than season-long preparaton might get you 8-5 or 9-3 seasons, but no championships or major bowl games.

Never stop telling the truth, NSC, even though many will not hear it. I know, I was an "ostrich" myself for many years, head firmly planted in the sand, unable to see. Still, keep telling the truth, because only "the truth will set you free!"

Steve Burnes

Anonymous said...

What up bro! I agree with you most of time and I admit it took me a little longer to get on the there needs to be some kind of change bandwaggon, but we do have the players to be succseful, the scheme and the system sets the players up to fail. Tommy may be a good QB, but the coaching staff continues to try things that wont work, I am preaching to the choir here but I belive that our opponets watch our game film, I am pretty sure that teams know to stack the line on first and second down, and from watching game film they probably know that anything longer than third and six will result in a punt (being nice). I am a staunch Fresno state supporter and have been to every game this season. As a fan sitting in the stands I can call the plays that we are gonna run I am sure that the other teams DC can also. Look I havnt gotten to the point where I think PH has to go but he has to make sure that this never happens again, and if that means letting go of our DC and OC than do it. Gotta go see ya at the game.

Anonymous said...

The failings of the FSU QB's is due to them coming in to a program that does not allow for multiple passing opportunities or developing a rhythm - they're kept to throwing only once out of 4 downs (run, run, pass, punt, is the current mantra). It is just not Hill's style. So how is a QB expected to get a rhythm established in bits and pieces play? Job description for future recruits should include one qualification: the FSU QB must be an out-of-this world, AMAZINGLY talented athlete, with the ability to connect to receivers in one-shot only attempts, because that's all that's allowed? Sorry, that's a fairy tale not about to come true. The guys who might possess such talent aren't about to commit to FSU.

I hope for the sakes of the future QB's being recruited, that they are told by Hill ahead of time that, " does not matter that you have amazing stats. It does not matter that you have speed and accuracy, etc." Hope that the recruit understands the QB job will consist of handing off the ball 66 percent of the time.

If they have any usable talent at all, they might look to another school that supports a QB's passing! Dwayne Wright will be off to the NFL before long. If there isn't another workhorse in the offensive team to take his place, then you can kiss another season goodbye, because the miserable play-calling will never get the job done well enough to take FSU to a real Bowl game.