One of the biggest pair of shoes to ever be filled at Fresno State are sitting a few yards behind the center at the quarterback position. Derek Carr was one of the most hyped recruits in Bulldog history and he has now moved on to the NFL after one of the most successful Bulldog careers ever. The quarterbacks returning on the roster failed to make a move for the starting spot in the spring, but the team adds two new players - Duke transfer Brandon Connette and incoming freshman Kilton Anderson.
Connette played in 39 games at Duke and started four of them as the quarterback. He rushed for 14 touchdowns and threw for 13 more as he played a role in the Blue Devil’s 10 win season. Primarily known for his running ability, Connette will have to prove his passing talents are up to par to keep the Bulldogs’ offense moving smoothly. His running talent alone won’t put him ahead of Brian Burrell who came out of spring practice as the frontrunner for the job.
What To Watch
Quarterback Battle? - It appeared that the quarterback job was all but ready to be given to incoming transfer Brandon Connette when it was announced he was transferring from Duke. Offensive coordinator Dave Schramm says that the quarterback battle is definitely open and he still has to see if Connette’s talents will translate to the Bulldogs’ offense rather than adjusting the offense to Connette. Aside from Connette, junior Brian Burrell appears to be the only QB ready to take on the challenge. Burrell and Connette will battle it out in the fall, but we expect Connette to eventually be named the starter. Keep an eye to see if this competition is really as open as it is being made out to be and how Connette’s talents translate to Fresno State’s offense.
Greenlee Progress - Zack Greenlee committed to Fresno State after making the Elite 11 quarterback competition and receiving interest from multiple power schools. Greenlee is yet to make an impression on the coaching staff, however. Greenlee has to show he has made progress or he may find himself behind incoming freshman quarterback Kilton Anderson and have trouble ever earning the starting spot in years to come.
Brandon Connette - Brandon Connette wins the starting job and builds on the success he had at Duke. Connette proves he is more than just a runner and can operate the Bulldogs’ offense to a winning season. He had tremendous running stats at Duke and now his passing statistics will jump out as well as he gets a shot at being the guy at quarterback and being more than just a role player. There may be some bumps in the road in September, but Connette puts up good numbers regardless with his talent.
Kilton Anderson - It is doubtful that Kilton Anderson steps in as a freshman and beats out Brian Burrell and Brandon Connette for the starting job. Anderson does, however, have a chance to impress the coaches and set himself for a run at the starting job in 2015. If Anderson impresses, Burrell and especially Zach Greenlee will be in a tough situation to ever earn playing time.
Projected Depth Chart
1. Brandon Connette
2. Brian Burrell
3. Kilton Anderson
4. Zach Greenlee