Yesterday the Fresno Bee reported what every Fresno State fan knew was coming: Sean Norton was given his outright release from the Fresno State football program. He now can look at other options as far as playing college football. As everyone who reads this blog knows I was thoroughly impressed with the way Norton played when he was given a chance to come into the game against Hawaii. He showed a toughness to me that Brandstater just doesn't have. At the same time I feel like he was a much better deep threat than Brandstater will ever be. I know Brandstater has a strong arm but he has absolutely no accuracy down the field. Case in point: Take a look at the deep ball thrown Fernandez's way on Saturday. Brandstater should know by now that ball needs to be thrown deep to the corner of the end zone. Instead he floats the ball short to a spot only the defender can get to. Norton did not make the same mistake when he would throw the ball deep and aside two throws during his three game tenure Norton threw the ball well.
I feel like Fresno State let an opportunity get away with Sean. At the same time I have no respect for our coach, absolutely none. I am tired of defending a man who has caused more havoc in 2006 than most coaches do in a lifetime. We have had a complete breakdown with respect to this team and if there is anyone that does not feel like Pat Hill is at the forefront of all of this they are wearing blinders. Do all of you really feel like the Young situation was just Young failing and that's all there was to it? Do all of you feel like the reason our seniors played so badly was truly because they were looking towards the NFL? Let me offer an alternate view for you. McCauley, Young, and Williams all could have gone pro after the 2005 season (which in turn might have been a good thing when looking back at the situation). I am quite sure Pat Hill did all he could to keep them at Fresno State for their senior seasons. After all three agreed to stay they had to watch Pat Hill flirt with leaving to the NFL. How would that make you feel as a player? Your coach does all he can to keep you in Fresno because of your so called commitment to the program only to turn around and inquire about leaving himself. Fresno State's situation is spinning further and further out of control with each day that passes. The Norton situation was just one of many that 2006 endured, none of which are pleasant in any way.
However, I am writing this blog to say goodbye to a kid I think will prosper wherever he ends up. Sean Norton has the drive to be a great football player. Sean Norton has the skill and intangibles to become a college QB everyone will remember down the line. Although he will be relegated to playing at a Div. 1AA school if he wants to play right away, Norton should do well wherever he decides to go. As a Fresno State fan I want this team to win but I cannot support many of the decisions Pat Hill made in 2006. I almost feel as if he is in this for himself now and does not care about anyone else including those who give their all for the Bulldogs program. Norton is a class act regardless of how you look at the situation. He never complained and handled the situation as best as a young QB in college could. Yesterday when he was interviewed he did not throw the Bulldog program under the bus but instead stay composed and gave an honest evaluation of what happened. I am sure he had to bite his tongue during that interview but he did the best possible thing he could. Others schools he inquires about going to will see this team first attitude and give this guy a chance without a doubt. Thank you for the effort, time, and attitude you gave to Fresno State Sean. Many of us will miss the opportunity to watch you play college football for Fresno State. I wish you the very best wherever you head and I know you will succeed wherever you may end up.
Where does this leave the Fresno State football program in 2007? Is Tom Brandstater going to be our QB for another season? As of right now it looks as if he is the best option we have. In other words we will not win more than four-six games in 2007. Pat Hill made an interesting comment about the QB position in the Fresno bee today. Hill stated "I don't think you can develop a quarterback as quickly as everyone wants." Most people do not realize that Brandstater has been in the program for three years now. Yes this was his first year as the starter but he redshirted and was the backup for his Freshman season. If he is not ready now will he ever truly be? How long does Pat Hill feel it should take for the QB position to develop, five years? The Fresno Bee goes on to talk about what needs to be fixed in order for this team to improve in 2007. Personally I do not feel this is a one year project. I feel this team will be down for the next three-four seasons. As long as we continue to count on a QB who cannot make the reads, execute the throws, and lead this team to victories we will end up with far more losses than most of us can stomach. I realize many of you do not agree with me but I solely blame the head coach for this team falling apart. Pat Hill is in charge of this team and it is his job to make sure this team never divides. It is Pat's job to make sure the best man is on the field. It is Pat's job to play those who give us a chance to win every week. Pat has not done this and if there is anyone who disagrees, well as I said earlier take off your damn blinders and open your eyes to what is truly going on at Fresno State.