Monday, February 05, 2007

Faulkner Provides Hope at QB Position

Fresno State fans have become accustomed to QB's who throw the ball with extreme efficiency. With QB's such as Trent Dilfer, Billy Volek, David Carr, and Paul Pinegar can you blame Bulldog fans for expecting the best out of their QB? Each of these QB's did an outstanding job of keeping the Bulldogs in games the rest of the nation thought the Bulldogs had no chance to win. In 2006 the Bulldogs QB position took a step back as Tom Brandstater did not perform at the level that Fresno State Bulldog fans have become accustomed to. Far too often Brandstater looked lost on the field of play. It was almost as if Brandstater had never studied what to do when the #1 option on the field wasn't available. Time and time again Brandstater threw into double coverage forcing balls that should have never been thrown. In 2007 Brandstater will once again be the starter for the Bulldogs, but his leash is going to be much shorter than what Pat Hill gave him during the 2006 season. His immediate backup will be Ryan Colburn, a QB from Central Valley Christian who played Div. 5 football during his high school years. While Colburn is a strong physical specimen of a football player he has never experienced high octane football as Div. 5 football in California tends to be far slower than any other level of football. While faith in the QB situation at Fresno State is dwindling as the seasons pass on there is reason to once again believe that the QB problems of the past will remain in the past. The reason for this rests in the right arm of a QB from Flower Mound, Texas.

Matt Faulkner stands at 6'3" while weighing in at a lengthy 190 pounds. While that may be a little undersized for a college QB Fresno State will do all they can to add some size to Matt's frame. No one in the Bulldog program or fan base would be surprised if Faulkner comes in weighing 200-205 pounds by his sophomore season (or his actual Freshman season as he will more than likely redshirt his Freshman year). At first glance you would not view Faulkner as the type of QB who could step in and make noise right from the start. After all he has only played high school football to this point and will need plenty of time to adjust to the college game. However, under Fresno State's system Faulkner may have a chance to gain controls as a starter during his Sophomore season, even with Brandstater playing the next two seasons. Anyone who has watched Faulkner's recruiting videos can see his strengths right away. Fresno State runs a pro style offense which is based on timing routes that tend to become open due to the use of play action in the backfield. Faulkner's offense in Flower Mound was run predominantly in the same exact fashion. Faulkner's tapes show that he can stay in the pocket even when pressure is coming and make the throw. Faulkner seems to possess an absolute cannon as throwing the ball fifty yards downfield seems to be nothing more than an afterthought for the young man. At the same time he seems to have an uncanny ability to be quite accurate when he throws deep, something a receiver such as Devon Wylie may be able to turn into a luxury at Fresno State in the coming years.

Faulkner will not see playing time in 2007 and it is quite possible he will not see any during the 2008 season. However it is obvious this kid has the talent and skills needed to compete at the college football level. He can make the throw over the middle, something that is absolutely required in the college game today. At the same time Faulkner can move if he has to and seems to be accurate on the run as well. His stats at Flower Mound are not gaudy but do remember they also seem to have run a pro style offense. Faulkner did average close to 240 yards passing per game in high school which is rather lofty for a high school QB. With the Bulldogs recent struggles at QB fans have often wondered if the QB situation would ever return to the years of Carr and Dilfer, QB's who could make the throw with the game on the line. Faulkner gives us hope that one day Fresno State will be able to win a game by both ground and air, something they simply could not do in 2006.

Note: Since this is letter of intent week I will be devoting my blogs to those recruits who may be able to come in and make a difference right from the start. Tomorrow I will write about Devon Wylie, Fresno State's next Adam Jennings and then some.

13 comments:

knwadog said...

It appears you have already written off Colburn because he played D5 football. He made the top 100 recruits in the nation list as well as played in the top rotation at every camp he went to, why, because of his ability and work ethic. I have said it before, he will not be outworked by any other QB now or in the future. And he does have the size and ability as well as game and playbook knowledge to become a great FSU QB we are looking for.

nsc said...

I am not writing Colburn off, I just have seen him play plenty of times and I don't have the confidence everyone else does in him. Am I wrong for feeling this way? Well yes I could be and I will take the heat if I am but don't blame me for having little confidence in a man who has generally played football against undersized players and has looked suspect in every Fresno State scrimmage up to this point.

In the end I just tend to have a little more confidence in a player coming from a higher division. I know this doesn't always work out and as I said before I will admit I am wrong if he does not provide the punch I think Faulkner can, but we all have our own opinions in the end.

Anonymous said...

I am pulling for Brandstater, Colburn, and Faulkner; in short, I am pulling for Fresno State to return to "QB U" status. Whomever is going to help us win is the one I want.

Colburn IS suspect due to his background, and I don't know why he would attend a D5 school, but I'm guessing he had his reasons. Still, Coach Hill saw what he liked, or he wouldn't have recruited him.

Also, according to knwadog, he has done well against top caliber competition. So I am not writing him off--in fact, I hope he rocks!

Whichever QB does the best job is the one I want. I just hope Pat Hill sees it that way this year, as well.

Steve Burnes

nsc said...

Yeah Steve I have to agree, it wouldn't bother me if anyone stepped up during the season. I just want us to go back to the school that can both throw and pass whenever they really want to. I guess we will just have to wait and see if that is what happens in the next few years.

Anonymous said...

I'm hoping that Pat has finally seen the light somewhat.After coaching the Hula Bowl Pat said he was sure Tom has all the physical tools but he also said he didn't know if he has what it takes upstairs.So at least he has acknowledged the problem.Let's hope he figures this out soon.Probably won't know until fall ball.Have we heard any more about Grady?Has he officially been hired,if so for what position?

Anonymous said...

I may be jumpin the gun but what about Tim Lang & Nick Anderson.They are both listed as QB's and have given verbals,are they not as touted as Faulkner?

mdg said...

Anderson needs some time to develop but has the skills...but still behind Faulkner...

Lang is an athlete, will get the chance to compete at QB but probably not until 2008

nsc said...

I guess I am looking at film I was able to see on Lang and I don't feel he is best utilized at the QB position. Lang is fast and obviously can play the QB position but I feel like Faulkner plays the QB position much better with respect to the system Fresno State runs. Lang would be good in a system that asks the QB to run often and we all know that isn't Fresno State. I don't know much about Anderson because I have not seen any film on him up to this point.

Anonymous said...

I saw ryan at many practices last year and he looked awful... he was under/over throwing everybody. if he has the work ethic knwadog says he does, then more power to him and i hope he improves!!

-bulldog8588

Anonymous said...

Well, Faulkner looks like the real deal--here's hoping!!!!!!!

Steve Burnes

Anonymous said...

bdg8588, the challenge with any qb not named as numero uno is that you get to show ur talent with the 3 & 4 rotation. This is what SN and RC got to strut there stuff with at the scrimmages and every practice, come to the line and have to direct players to the correct formation. Let's hope the other players LEARN the book like the qb's. If all of the qb's get first string rotations, it would be a better indication of talent. Overthrown/underthrown is that 1st, 2nd or 3rd string o. Not all is fair in LOVE or football, the 2nd has to suck it up and shine against the odds. we will see.....The notion that RC is not qualified because he played D5 is a joke. He played at CVC so he could letter in 3 sports for 4 years, his option was Golden West, not a great option. You either play baseball and nothing else or ride pine regardless of talent. he is a competitor and I look forward to watching the practices, like you and the sunday night scrimmages.

Anonymous said...

Well, it will be interesting to see if Colburn rises this year. After last year, I'm betting the coaches are taking a closer look at talent, including who can best manage a game.

I do believe that TB will be the designated starter, but I also think he might be on a short leash. This could be the year for Colburn--Faulkner will no doubt redshirt--if he rises to the challenge!

Steve Burnes

Anonymous said...

kuWell, it will be interesting to see if Colburn rises this year. After last year, I'm betting the coaches are taking a closer look at talent, including who can best manage a game.

I do believe that TB will be the designated starter, but I also think he might be on a short leash. This could be the year for Colburn--Faulkner will no doubt redshirt--if he rises to the challenge!

Steve Burnes