Isaiah Stanback - 10.5! Are you kidding me? That's an incredible time for a quarterback. It makes him the fastest man to ever play the position at Washington and probably the fastest in the history of the Pac-10 Conference.
This was not a hand held pro-day time, not some combine time, this was an electronically timed sprint against a field of much smaller and quicker "track sprinters". This makes him just about as fast as Napoleon Kaufman, but he plays quarterback. Think about that for a second.
This kid is on a mission. I truly believe that he is about to have the best football season of his whole career. This could be a turnaround season for him and his teammates. He could add a dimension to the Husky offense like we have never seen before. He could join the ranks of Marques Tuiasosopo and Bob Schloredt as some of the greatest running quarterbacks in Husky history. Pure speed alone makes this a possibility.
Of course, his decision making will still be the most important thing to taking advantage of this tremendous speed. He needs to decide when to run and when to pass and he needs to protect the football when he decides to do so.
Obviously, I am an old school "run first-throw second" type of guy. But, I know for fact, the coaches realize they have added a running back to the backfield. Nobody is going to convince me that an offensive team with a 10.5 quarterback is not going to be hard to stop.
If Isaiah doesn't stop himself with poor choices, he's going to be awfully tough to contain.
Speed is the number one priority in the game of football. It doesn't make any difference what the position is, the fastest players are usually at an advantage. Looking at it from a mechanical approach, the game is still about force and angles. That is why you want so many fast kids on defense, to take away the pursuit angles and get to the football the fastest.
That is also why the skilled offensive players are also the fastest. A very fast running back or receiver can impact the game simply with their speed. The best defensive linemen are usually the ones who can get off blocks and then sprint to the ball and almost all of the really fast linebackers and safeties get drafted.
What is so unique here is the speed is at the quarterback position. Stanback will stress defenses simply because he will be such a threat to pull it down and run. Boot leg passes or runs will force you defensively not to over pursue from the back side so cut back lanes will start to open. You can't get good drops in your underneath zone coverages if you are always concerned with quarterback draws, sprint outs, and bootlegs. A fast quarterback actually really slows your linebackers down.
Stanback has gotten this fast with hard work and he will have success because of a belief in his coach, Tim Lappano. They found each other at the right time and hopefully it is going to result in more wins for the team. There has been great growth in Stanback over the past year and a half and a lot that has to do with his relationship with Lappano. Stanback is now a football office junkie and I see him spending all his spare minutes studying the game.
He is in incredible shape and probably has a body fat of about 5%. He is stronger than he has ever been - and most of all - he is faster. He is fast enough to become a terrific offensive threat. Something that Washington really hasn't had since Reggie Williams left. And Isaiah gets to touch the football on every play.
Isaiah Stanback is a thoroughbred, a gentleman, and now has become a leader from what I've seen this spring and off-season. There is little doubt, at least in my mind, that this is a difference maker and a different kid. He has accepted his role now as the leader of his team and just needs some early success.
That is why it is so important for the Huskies to get out of the blocks early next season. They need to be 4-0 or 3-1 after the first month - then anything could happen. This kid is really special and although not as tall or big as Vince Young, he is just as fast. He is as fast as Michael Vick. He is as fast as just about any quarterback playing today now that the Seahawks have moved Seneca Wallace. Catch him if you can.
This will be Stanback's show. It is time for him to prove he can win. Despite all his athletic ability, Isaiah has never really gotten to experience the thrills of winning. He could change all of that this season. He will stay healthy because he is in such top physical condition and he will be instrumental in the Huskies turning this whole thing around. He will help the new offensive line by being so elusive that he will avoid sacks with his speed. He will move the chains because he will convert third and mediums into first downs with his feet. He will be leading his team mates all summer on their quest for respectability. He will lead them from the ashes. He is poised to have a great season.
I want and expect that the Huskies will be a winning team again. I would like to see them red-shirt Locker and save him for the years to come. I want Stanback to lead this team to a bowl. In an era when running quarterbacks are dominating college football, Washington has arguably the fastest one.
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