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.