Countdown to Kickoff: Day 95 Quarterback Preview

There is no number 95 on the roster (Cayden Camper wore 95 but his status may be in doubt after his DUI, he is no longer listed), so we’ll do a position preview instead. Today, the quarterbacks.

Coach: Joey Lynch • Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks Coach

Coach Lynch’s offense had a great 2019 at Ball State, ranking 16th in the nation in total offense and leading the MAC in scoring. On the surface that’s great, but BSU head coach Mike Neu is an offensive guy and took over play-calling in 2018, so how much can we really glean from those results? To borrow a phrase from former OC Dave Baldwin: Was that a Joey Lynch offense, or a Mike Neu offense? (By the way, Baldwin is the new OC at UNC. Pretty nice hire, but I hope Baldwin and Ed McCaffrey don’t have conflicting opinions on whether players can wear earrings or not.)

One thing that’s for certain when watching Ball State games on YouTube is that Coach Lynch did a great job with his quarterbacks. Former QB Riley Neal came to Ball State with only three reported offers: Ball State, Central Michigan, and the dreaded Illinois State Redbirds. Neal was the starter for four years at BSU, grad transferred to an SEC SchoolTM (Vanderbilt), and finished his career with 8978 yards, 55 TD’s, 30 picks, and a 59.6 completion percentage. He signed as a UDFA with your very own Denver Broncos.

Drew Plitt (a 2-star according to the big brains at 247 Sports) took over for Neal and was even better. In 2019 he threw for 2918/24/7/64% and was named the MAC co-offensive player of the year. Pretty good for a back up quarterback!

Long story short: at very least we have an excellent QB coach.

Coming back:

Patrick O’Brien, Redshirt Senior – 2803 yards, 13 TDs, 7 interceptions, 62% completions

One of the most overlooked things about O’Brien is that the guy had next to no experience at the FBS level. He only saw mop up duty in a handful of games for Nebraska and only had one attempt against an FCS team before he was inserted into the Arkansas game. The 405-yard performance in his first start against Toledo was even more impressive considering Barack Obama was president the last time O’Brien was the starting quarterback of a football game at any level.

Justice McCoy, Redshirt Junior –  20 yards, 0 TDs, 2 interceptions, 50% completions

McCoy attempted the first two passes of his college career during the SDSU blow-out and both passes were promptly picked off. Not sure if either were really his fault though.

Outta here:

Collin Hill – Transfer to South Carolina

Jude Erickson – Transfer to TBD

Nothing else to add about Collin Hill, the guy’s career was one of the biggest bummers in CSU history. Hopefully he’s healthy enough to play at an SEC SchoolTM and get on an NFL roster.

Erickson’s transfer destination is still up in the air. The old coaching staff put together a highlight reel for him and Bobo is still out there on Twitter trying to get him a new home. I don’t care what any of you say, this is and always will be a pro-Mike Bobo space.

(Also, I just watched a fifteen-minute video of practice highlights of a walk-on quarterback who will never play a down for CSU. That’s how you know you’re a Top Booster.)

New to Fort Collins:

Todd Centeio, Redshirt Junior – Transfer from Temple

Centeio recently tweeted that he was accepted into CSU’s grad school, so it looks like he’s good to go. Centeio is the best type of grad transfer, can play right away and has two years of eligibility left. Centeio was never QB1 at Temple, but still saw a decent amount of playing time.

Aaaaaaand…. that’s it. Third year in a row without a high school quarterback coming in!

Who is the Wildcard of the group?

Centeio.

I’m guessing Centeio didn’t come here to ride the bench, but with O’Brien entrenched as the starter what’s the plan? Will Centeio get a couple drives a game? A special RPO package to change things up? Will Centeio push O’Brien for the starting job???

The AlwaysSonny Prediction for the Quaterbacks:

With a year of experience under his belt and QB-guru Joey Lynch in his ear, an All-MWC type season is in the cards for O’Brien in 2020. If you take that statistics from O’Brien’s nine starts in 2019 and flesh them out to a 13 game season, they’re damn close to the stats Nick Stevens put up in All-Mountain West season. We’re bullish on O’Brien in 2020.

Centeio will also see a decent amount of playing time (a couple drives a game and mop-up duty), preparing himself to take over the offense in 2021.

After the season, Gary Kubiak signs O’Brien to the Vikings as an UDFA because of course he does.

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