Scrimmage Fosters Confidence in Szakacsy

One of the lone offensive positives in last Friday's scrimmage, was the play of quarterback Samson Szakacsy. The true freshman is battling another first-year player, Chasen Stangel, for the third-team honors at that position, and it would appear that Szakacsy is the front runner in that position battle. Szakacsy admitted that he feels good about his chances, yet knows things may change.

On Friday Samson Szakacsy completed 6-7 passes for 52 yards, and generally looked very sharp and in control of the offense. "I could have done some things better, but overall I do feel good about how I did," he said. "Before the scrimmage, I looked over the playbook and felt really ready. I felt that I was gonna have a good night and fortunately I made some throws. But I also made mistakes. We have a lot of work on offense, like Coach Erickson said, but I feel pretty good."

The freshman quarterback added that he thought he did a good job running the offense, but acknowledges the fact that his playbook comprehension needs improvement, and that he has to work on his checks when seeing different coverages.

At 6-4 200, it easy to see why some would assume that Szakacsy may not be the most mobile signal caller out there. Yet, in the scrimmage he showed his quickness and athleticism when the pocket collapsed and he was flushed out and forced to make plays on the run. "I've been is some situations in the past where I had to scramble," he commented, "and I have to make something happen in a broken play…hopefully there are some defenders out there that think I'm not mobile (smile). That will help me when I get outside."

Just like any true freshman, it was a rough beginning for Szakacsy when he started fall practice. Feeling overwhelmed with a new and thicker playbook, was a sure recipe for poor play. "I felt that I have improved from the beginning of camp," he said. "When camp began you were just thinking too much, not reacting. I'm feeling more comfortable with the offense right now, but I know I have a lot of work to do."

Szakacsy claimed that he doesn't know yet if he will be the third string signal caller or not on the depth chart. However, one thing is for certain – he will continue and battle fellow true freshman quarterback Stangel.

"We both do a good job keeping the competition on the field and not continuing it off the field," Szakacsy noted. "We really don't hang out together that much, but the guy is a good dude and I have no problems with him. It's obviously good to have competition because that's how you get better. I think both of us have gotten better since we got here."

Szakacsy didn't comment on whether he believes if his play is deserving of being named the third-string quarterback, and added that it's up to the coaches to make that decision. "I feel confident enough that if they put me in that situation, I'll be ready," he claimed. "And if I still had to redshirt that's fine. I trust Coach Erickson in what he decides because he's a legend and he's been around the game for a long time. Whatever he feels is the best for me, is what I'm gonna do. It will be good to have that year to get bigger, stronger, faster, and mentally more prepared – it will help in the long run and I don't have a problem with that."

With the scrimmage just played two nights ago, Szakacsy, just like the rest of his teammates welcomed the shorter practice on Sunday night. The fact that the fall semester starts the next day is probably another reason why the abbreviated session at Kajikawa Field was a welcomed sight. "We all have a lot to do and a lot to think about," he remarked. "I don't know what to expect (in school) because I'm a freshman and it's unknown territory for me (smile). But it's cool, and on Tuesday we got back to work at practice."

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