NCAA Football: Boise State still searching for a QB

By Jeremy Cabler

The QB factory that is Boise State isn’t any closer to naming a new signal caller than they were in the spring. It’s kind of strange considering that Broncos seem to have a new guy lined up and  put up extraordinary numbers every time one leaves.

It all started in 2000 really. That’s when the tenure of Ryan Dinwiddie started. From 2000-2003, Dinwiddie passed for 9,819 yards and Boise State record of 4,031 yards in the 2003 season, and considered to many to be the best Boise State QB ever. The NFL oppurtunity was never there for him, or for any Broncos QB really, but while they are suiting up and playing on the Smurf Turf, great things do happen.

In 2004, Dinwiddie gave way to Jared Zabransky who took over and amassed over 8,000 passing yards and led his team to an epic win over Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl in 2007.

In 2007, Taylor Tharp’s first and only season as a starting QB, he was as good as any Broncos QB. He finished that season with 3,340 yards and 30 TDs.

Then there was Kellen Moore – The 6’0 197 lbs (soaking wet and standing on a phonebook) gunslinger who led the Broncos to 50 wins and 3 losses. He left college with multiple records including passing yards (14,667) and Touchdowns thrown with 142.

So for Boise State entering a season with an unknown is somewhat of uncharted territory.

Given coach Chris Petersen’s coaching ability, and the deep receiving corps that the Broncos have, a leader will emerge and put up video game like numbers. Hopefully for Petersen and the rest of the Broncos they find out sooner than later.

“They were average,” Coach Chris Petersen said of his four quarterbacks. “It was good, get them into some live reps. It’s different than when you just practice. … We’ll be looking forward to coming out here next Saturday with a crowd and hopefully taking a step forward.”

While many assume that the veteran of the group Joe Southwick will start the season, since he was the opening drive QB for the Spring game, Coach Petersen isn’t tipping his hand.

“There’s some separation, but it’s not enough to say, ‘OK, we’ve got our guy,’ ” Petersen said. “It’s not. Every time I start to think we might have our guy, we don’t have our guy. But we’ll have a guy.”

I guess when you have 4 QBs you really have none.

Here is a look at the candidates for the Broncos starting QB job:

Joe Southwick-JR

Southwick is the most experienced of the group. In two seasons of backing up Kellen Moore, Southwick is 40-54, 400 yards with 2 TDs and Int. He started the Spring game and had the look of a starter controlling the temp and leading the offense.  Southwick went 14-19 for 145 yards with a touchdown.

Nick Patti-Freshaman

Patti is the darkhorse of the group, and maybe the most talented. Patti comes from a very successful High School in Dr. Phillips located in Orlando. If he had ideal measurements he most likely would be courted by bigger name programs. He looked solid in the Spring Game going 4-8 for 60 yards and a TD, and has the making of becoming one of the next good QBs for Boise St in the future. Showed that he was very athletic and can be a weapon running the ball as well.  The only question regarding Patti is, if he doesn’t become the starter, will he be number two on the depth chart, or will Coach Petersen decide to redshirt him.

Grant Hendrick

Hendrick is the runner of the group. Used mainly as a Wildcat QB, he has limited involvement as a passer, but can move the chains with his feet. Last season he appeared in 8 games and went 2-3 for 19 yards. On the ground he counted for 70 yards on 8 attempts and a TD. If Patti does Redshirt, Hendrick looks like the most obvious backup.

Jimmy Laughrea

Laughera seems like the odd man out. He hasn’t really wowed any coaches and looks like he will be towards the bottom of the depth chart. He redshirted last season and earned Offensive Scout Player of the Year. His best chance of playing will come if Patti redshirts and he can beat out Grant Hendrick for the backup role.

If I was a gambling man, my money would be on Joe Southwick to be under center (or actually in shotgun) Week 1 at Michigan State. He has the most experience and looked the most comfortable this spring.

However, if Chris Petersen still doesn’t know who it’s going to be, then neither does anyone else and there’s a good chance we see multiple QBs this season for the Broncos.

It’s safe to say that Dinwiddie’s single season yards record and Kellen Moore’s record of 43 touchdowns for a season are safe for one more year.

Jeremy Cabler covers the NFL Draft and College Football for Rant Sports. Check out his Scouting Reports

Follow him on Twitter @JeremyCabler and @RantSports

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