Why don't you let your quarterback run? Is it a product of the system or just the fact that you feel that your signal-caller is best when sitting back in the pocket, putting that ball down-field? For Rauschelbach, his one-dimensional attack last year wasn't out of choice, but because that's what his coach wanted him to do and the depth chart wasn't helping. "Last year, I was like the only QB we had." Conor said. "And our coach, he was like the closest thing to "Bear" Bryant there was when it comes to intensity."
"I actually got in trouble for running, because if I got hurt, we had nobody to look to."
If you are Josh Heupel, you might dream of this kind of offense, having the luxury of just sitting back there and chucking the ball wherever it needed to go. And, it wasn't as if Conor wasn't able to do that as he threw for over 2,000 yards, both his sophomore and junior years. It's not about ability though, it's about desire, a desire to prove just what he can do.
"I remember talking to coach Snyder (Bill Snyder from Kansas State)." Conor said. "And I asked him what was wrong with me that I wasn't getting any offers. He just told me flat out, ‘nobody has seen you run'."
"Everyone said they knew I could throw, but because of how things were last year, nobody saw me run and that's something I am looking forward to changing this year."
At a little over 6'3" and weighing in right around 210 lbs., you certainly can't doubt the physical potential that Conor has, his frame ideal to build on. And his speed (4.8 handheld) might not floor you, but if you consider that this young man wasn't demanded to run even to the line of scrimmage, it's hard to say what he would be capable having been trained for both aspects instead of just one.
It's is about potential though, a potential that Conor wants to realize and he is looking to turn all these looks from colleges into pieces of paper that state, ‘we want you'. "I don't mind not getting any offers right now." Conor said. "I know why nobody is offering me and it's ok. I'll have to wait until the season when I can prove to everyone that I can run as well as I can throw."
It's something Conor looks to do not just because it will prove a point, but because it's something he loves. You see, Conor is just like any QB that loves to toss that ball down the field, but he's got that itchin to tuck and go as well. "I like to run the ball." Conor said. "I don't want to ‘just' run it, but if a play breaks down, I know I can make something happen and it's frustrating not being able to do that, because I know I can."
Conor would be defined right now as a diamond in the ruff for the lack of a better way of putting it. It's because nobody outside of the die-hard recruiting circles is really all that aware that he even exists. This year, with a new coach at the helm and a good back-up QB, Conor is looking to make his name standout with the rest of the quarterbacks around.
"The proof is what I do on the field and I know I have to do that in order to get noticed." Conor said. "I know I am going to be able to run this year even in the offense we have, because our coach wants to get the most out of what I can do." That offense Conor indicated to is going to bare a striking resemblance to the "Fun n' Gun" that Florida made famous. And yes, you are thinking that, that offense isn't notorious for it's mobile quarterbacks, but Rauschelbach insists that his coach isn't as rigid as the one that preceded him.
"I sat down with my coach (Dave Logan) and talked about being able to show what I had running and he said ‘don't worry, you'll get your chance to run' and I trust him, so I am looking forward to that."
With the expected success of Conor, toting the ball around in combination with his passing, the offers are expected. From what schools, Conor said of those pursuing him right now, Oregon, Kansas State and Colorado State have shown the most interest.
His interest though or his pledge will be a product of a character trait he stated he will rely on in making that decision. "I'm a pretty loyal guy." Conor said. "That's just how I am, so whichever team offers me first, that's probably where I will go."
"To offer me, they will have shown a lot of interest in me and so, that's probably where I will end up, because that's just the kind of guy I am."
Because of this stance, those schools mentioned are in contention obviously, but so is pretty much anyone else, but the one criteria that Conor has is that wherever he goes, he can do exactly what he's looking forward to doing this year. "I'm not going anywhere, where I just run the ball." Conor said. "I like to run and I like to be able to make things happen with the run, but that's not all I am and that's not all I can do. I want to go where I can do a little bit of everything."
If your team fits that criteria, consider them a candidate for Conor Rauschelbach. His potential makes him intriguing to say the least. For him, it's an opportunity to perhaps start all over and for those schools looking at him, it's their opportunity to see him for what they want, the complete QB.
And if he does prove to have that versatility, the race will be on as to who gets him, but we have a good idea of who the winner will be. First come, first serve? Ok, so who's going to be that "first"?
If my hunch is correct, it will probably only take about two games before we find out exactly who that is.
Steve Ryan can be reached at email@example.com or 402-730-5619