Goska's goal: prove QB credentials

Recruiters question how Wisconsin Rapids standout will transition from a triple-option offense

Part of the summer itinerary for quarterback Brent Goska and his teammates at Wisconsin Rapids (Wis.) Lincoln High School is a weekly 7-on-7 passing league in Stevens Point, Wis.

"That's obviously more for fun," said Wisconsin Rapids head coach Tony Biolo, in a telephone interview Thursday night, regarding the passing league. "We only pass seven times a game. Maybe 10-12 this year."

The Red Raiders can fantasize about a prolific passing attack during the summer league.

"They've got all summer to get that passing out of their system," Biolo said with a laugh.

According to statistics available on the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association's official Web site, Goska only threw 81 passes in 14 games last season, or 5.8 per game.

"That's a ton right there," Goska said sarcastically, during a separate telephone interview Thursday night.

Goska is not complaining. He thrived in Lincoln's triple-option wishbone offense last season, accounting for more than 2,500 total yards and 33 touchdowns as the Red Raiders advanced to the Division 1 state championship game, before falling to Racine Park, and finished the 2005 season 11-3. Goska was named second-team all-state by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and the Associated Press and honorable-mention all-state by the Wisconsin Football Coaches Association.

This summer, however, Goska has to convince college coaches that he can play quarterback at their level. That means proving that he can throw the football. Goska (6-foot-2, 195 pounds) has not yet received a scholarship offer, though he is receiving what Biolo classified as moderate interest from Wisconsin, Northern Illinois and Utah. He is also receiving interest from Division I-AA schools North Dakota State, Southern Illinois and Illinois State. Wisconsin, Northern Illinois, Southern Illinois and North Dakota State have made spring evaluation period stops at his high school.

"I think he's a hidden talent because I think people aren't taking a big look at him because we aren't a pass-oriented offense," Biolo said. "So they are questioning the arm, but he's got an excellent arm. It is just that is not what our emphasis is."

Goska was very productive when he did throw the football last season. He completed 50 of 81 passes for 708 yards and 13 touchdowns—one every 6.2 passes—against two interceptions.

Lincoln's success, though, was obviously built on running the football. Goska rushed for 1,804 yards and 20 touchdowns on 189 carries, while orchestrating an offense that produced more than 4,100 yards and 42 touchdowns rushing. The Red Raiders' run a pure triple option, with the quarterback deciding at the line of scrimmage who is going to get the ball after the snap.

"We run a triple-option offense and he's the guy that makes it work," Biolo said. "He understands the game well. (He is) very coachable I think is probably the biggest key."

The difficulty making the correct reads and executing a triple-option offense should not be underestimated. Goska's acumen running the offense—and reading a defense—could translate well to the next level.

"If he spent time working on reading a secondary, he'd read the secondary just as well as he reads a defensive tackle or a defensive end," Biolo said. "That's his biggest asset is he makes that decision quicker then the other quarterbacks we've had."

Goska has already showcased his abilities at Nike camps in Chicago and at the University of Georgia, at the Elite 11 combine at Georgia Tech, and at the adidas combine at Wisconsin.

"I attended the Nike camp in Georgia a couple weeks ago, and I did pretty well there actually for quarterback-wise," Goska said. "And most of those guys were throwing quite a bit during their games. So technique-wise I feel I'm right there with a lot of guys that are at the top of the recruiting level right now across the nation because there were a lot of good guys there."

He has recorded a 4.6-second 40-yard dash, 4.37-second 20-yard shuttle, a 33-inch vertical jump and 10 reps of 185 pounds on the bench press.

Those numbers are impressive for a junior class quarterback, but if he is going to play the position in college what truly matters is how he throws the football.

To that end Goska said he made a favorable impression on Bob Johnson, who runs the Elite 11 combine and coaches the quarterbacks who attend his camps. Bob Johnson is the father of NFL quarterback Rob Johnson.

"He took a lot of interest in me just because I was asking a lot (of questions)," Goska said. "He asked me what offense we run and he was pretty amazed at how well I was doing for the amount of throws we threw in a game."

If Goska can make a similar impression on the college coaches who see him at football camps this summer, his recruitment could pick up in a hurry.

"Everybody… they want to get their quarterback coach to take a look at him and see the passing mechanics and things," Biolo said. "I think that's the smart thing to do. Once he can get in front of… a coach to let him watch him, I think that would be to their advantage."

Goska will attend one-day camps at Utah, Wisconsin and Northern Illinois and he may also attend camps at Illinois State and Division II Minnesota-Duluth.

"Utah has shown probably the biggest interest," Biolo said. "They just haven't been here obviously."

Utah's quarterbacks coach, Goska said, "wants to make sure that I'm capable of throwing. He said we'd go from there. But they seem pretty interested. That's basically the way all the schools are along with Madison and Northern Illinois. Those three are the bigger ones so far."

"The college coaches that have been talking to me know that" Lincoln does not pass the ball often, Goska added. "So they see that I'm athletic in the tape that we sent out. They just want to see me throwing a bit more in person."

Goska is a good athlete with the size to potentially play safety in college. So, of course, some colleges have queried the possibility of him playing defense.

"They ask if he could play defense," Biolo said. "He might be able to. We've never even experimented. He's just definitely more of an offensive player. He's got the mind for a quarterback… (But) he'd play anywhere anybody would offer him.

"But to me he's a quarterback and I know the next level's just nervous because they haven't been able to see him play in a pass-oriented offense or a drop back. But he could do it, without question."

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