Thursday, May 24, 2007
The Beau Sweeney Dilemma
Over the past week Beau Sweeney has been one of the more discussed topics in the Bulldog world of football. Some of us feel like Beau Sweeney is a talent that Fresno State let get away while others feel that Sweeney never showed any interest in Fresno State in the first place so why go after him. There have been various posts that have covered the Beau Sweeney dilemma and I feel like I want to throw my two cents in on the subject.
Sweeney is an outstanding high school QB. He has many of the tools that a college football team would most certainly be able to utilize. Sweeney throws the middle 15-20 yard route just about as good as any high school QB I have ever seen (Aside J.J. Jelmini, his arm was unreal). Sweeney is fast, can break outside on a run if he needs to and knows how to use both his vision and his speed to find his way out of trouble. However, Sweeney is not a wonder kid by any stretch of the imagination. Sweeney plays on a team that features the run first. Matt Jelmini ran for over 2,000 yards this past season which takes a huge amount of pressure off of Sweeney when he is playing QB. In the only game this past season where Jelmini was not a factor (against Clovis East in the championship) Sweeney looked flustered on almost every single play. When opposing teams put pressure on Sweeney he does not seem to know whether to throw the ball or to sit back and wait. While Sweeney is a talent at the QB position he is just like every other young kid on the field and must learn quite a bit more before he will be proficient at the college football level.
With respect to recruiting Sweeney I believe there is much more going on behind the scenes than many of us know. Of course I do not know this for a fact but I am willing to bet Hill thought long and hard about recruiting Sweeney. On one hand you are going to try and attract a local kid which makes many of us in Fresno happy. At the same time a local kid would help involve the communities of both Fresno and Clovis that much more because they would feel a close connection with the QB on the field. But you have to consider the other side of the coin when talking about recruiting Sweeney. As many of us know Hill and Jim Sweeney do not share the same views on how to run a football team. Sweeney loved the offensive side of the ball and often threw the ball downfield more times than many of us could count in a game. Hill is the anti-Sweeney as he leads with the run. If Sweeney steps in at QB and Hill decides to run the ball more often than he throws what kind of criticism would that open Hill up to with respect to the media and the Sweeney family? While this may not be a good reason for leaving Sweeney off of the recruiting list it may be one of the reasons that Hill decided not to go after Sweeney.
What many of us have to realize is coaches recruit QB’s that tend to fit their program. Maybe Hill did not feel Sweeney fit the Fresno State program. Maybe Hill did not think Sweeney was the right fit for the Bulldog football team. Whatever the reasons the important thing we as Fresno State fans have to accept is that Sweeney will not be playing at Fresno State. From all accounts (including Sweeney’s father Kevin) Beau has no interest in playing for Fresno State anyway. As a Bulldog fan I would have loved to see Beau Sweeney in this program but if he does not want to be here then I have no desire to have him out there on Bulldog field. I would rather we recruit players such as Jerry Davis or Byron Campbell (I believe that is his name) because they have much more desire to play for the hometown Bulldogs. Sweeney will be a good college QB I am sure of that. But do remember there are plenty of good high school QB’s out there and just because we lost Sweeney does not mean we lost out on every solid QB in the valley. If you want to see how good Davis from Edison is when compared to Sweeney check out the Clovis West-Edison game this season. You will see that we may just get that outstanding QB prospect we need to turn the program around and his name won’t be Sweeney.