"I realized that what they wanted to do wasn't a good fit for me. They wanted me to be more of a runner," Fales said.
He transferred to a Monterey Peninsula Community College due to his previous relationship with coach Mike Rasmussen. During his time in junior college, Fales threw 37 touchdown passes en route to being a two-time all-conference selection.
With all he had been through, there was some good fortune awaiting Fales after his eligibility at Montery Peninsula had ended. San Jose State had a viable option with former Michigan quarterback Tate Forcier, but Forcier withdrew from the school, leaving San Jose State without a quarterback.
It was at this time that recruiting coordinator Terry Malley suggested recruiting Fales. In December 2011, Fales signed his letter of intent, and he was named the starting quarterback the following August.
Fales would not get any time to ease into his transition to starting for a Division I program. His first start was against Stanford's rugged defense, which featured several NFL prospects.
Fales led a rally after trailing 17-3 at halftime, tying the game with a big touchdown pass to Noel Grigsby. Ultimately, San Jose State would fall short after Fales threw an interception with a little more than a minute left, and Stanford escaped with a 20-17 victory.
The loss certainly was disappointing, but would spark a run that helped Fales burst onto the national scene. He finished his first season throwing for 4,193 yards, combined with 33 touchdowns and just nine interceptions. Fales' most impressive attribute is his accuracy, and that was on full display during his junior year. He completed 72 percent of his passes.
His wasn't quite as good during his senior season. He threw the same amount of touchdown passes and nearly matched the yardage total, but completed a lesser percentage of his passes and threw four more interceptions.
His career finished on a high note, when he outgunned Fresno State's Derek Carr, a potential first-round pick. Fales threw for 547 yards and six touchdown passes, leading San Jose State to a 62-52 victory in Fales' final game.
Interestingly, Fales and Carr were the only FBS quarterbacks with back-to-back 4,000-yard seasons.
Fales' accuracy makes him an interesting prospect for the Packers, with coach Mike McCarthy saying he'd land a fourth quarterback in the draft.
Fales certainly has some tools. He has good footwork in the pocket, and he played in an offense that allowed him to go through progressions and scan the field. The Packers' offense, which often runs with three wide receivers, will require its quarterbacks to go through those progressions. Tangibly, it's easy to see Fales' accuracy and ability within the pocket. Intangibly, something that's important for quarterbacks is their toughness. Fales fits the bill. He does not avoid contact when running, which can be scary at times, but be bounces up after getting hit hard. Getting up quickly after being hit can help a quarterback earn the respect of his teammates.
What Fales struggles with is the lack of an elite arm. That certainly isn't a detractor from taking a quarterback in McCarthy's system. Matt Flynn does not have elite arm strength, and certainly did not when the Packers selected him in the seventh round of the 2008 draft. Some of Fales' lack of arm strength can be attributed to his tendency to throw the ball when he's off-balance. That is something that is easily correctable, and McCarthy's quarterbacks school could help Fales quickly in that regard.
Fales is projected to be a Day 3 pick, which fits perfectly into the Packers' plans to add a developmental quarterback. Whether or not he is the one remains to be seen, but his skill-set and knowledge of an offense similar to the Packers' scheme gives him an edge that others may not have.