Stanford Cardinal Open Up Backup Quarterback Competition This Spring

By Tyler Brett
Kyle Terada – USA TODAY Sports

Josh Nunes started the 2012 season as the starting quarterback for the Stanford Cardinal. He was eventually replaced in favor of freshman Kevin Hogan, who took commanding control of the No. 1 quarterback slot for the foreseeable future, going undefeated in five starts and leading Stanford to the Pac 12 Championship and a Rose Bowl victory. With spring practice set to open, Nunes may find himself tumbling even further down the depth chart.

An undisclosed arm or shoulder injury is going to keep Nunes from participating in spring practices this year, which opens up the door for some of the other quarterbacks on the depth chart to show what they can do. His absence will give more reps to other backups like sophomore Evan Crower and freshman Dallas Lloyd, who joined the team last fall after spending two years on a Mormon mission.

Nunes will have to watch with his arm in a sling and hope he doesn’t slip further down the depth chart. The senior signal caller hurt his arm a couple of weeks ago in a “freak occurrence” during a workout in an incident that head coach David Shaw said he had never seen happen before at Stanford. He didn’t elaborate on what exactly happened or if the injury was to Nunes’ arm or shoulder.

The Upland, California, native is entering his final year of eligibility at Stanford after failing to live up to expectations as the quarterback who had to try and replace Andrew Luck. Stanford did well with Nunes under center, going 7-2 in games he started (though he only played the first quarter against the Colorado Buffaloes before giving way to Hogan), but the offense lacked any consistent explosiveness.

So will one of the younger quarterback options show they have more to offer the Stanford offense? Or will David Shaw keep his steady, if unspectacular, senior Josh Nunes as the No. 2 quarterback? Either way, it figures to be a quiet year for Nunes in his senior year. This spring, we’ll find out just how quiet it will really be.

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