Cody Fajardo: The Leader of the Pack

Kyle Terada-US PRESSWIRE

Nevada will need Fajardo to improve upon his previous years in Reno and become a leader, in order to have a successful season.

Athletic. Composed. Calm. Intelligent. Reliable. Tough. A leader.

A quarterback needs to be all of these things. Junior quarterback Cody Fajardo is showing the entire Wolf Pack team and staff that he has grown to become all of those qualities.  In 2013 Fajardo will be the main focus on offense with the likelihood that the passing attack will increase under OC Nick Rolovich due to the lack of a proven rusher in the backfield. For the Wolf Pack to have a successful season, much of the burden falls upon the shoulders of Fajardo.

So far, Fajardo has taken strides in each of his two years on campus. During his freshman year, after redshirting, Fajardo took the starting job halfway through the year, starting the final seven games, from Tyler Lantrip. His numbers (150 for 218, 1707 yards, 6 TD, 6 Int., 694 rushing yards, 11 TD) were impressive, especially considering he played only half the year. His running numbers were even more impressive seeing as he had more yards and touchdowns in his freshman year (7 games) than Wolf Pack great Colin Kaepernick did in his freshman year (13 games).

Following a successful freshman campaign, Fajardo followed it up, improving in nearly every facet of his game. In his first full season under center he threw for a thousand yards more, had fourteen more touchdowns, yet only increased his interception total by three, despite playing in six more games. He played within himself, limited turnovers, and had the second highest completion percentage (67.0%) in the MWC. He started to make better reads in the read option, evidenced by him rushing for 1,121 yards and 12 touchdowns.

For Nevada to have a successful year Fajardo will need to continue this streak of improvement. OC Nick Rolovich thinks this will continue saying, "Cody (Fajardo) should just get better and better the next two years." Improvement will come with smarter decisions and better reads in the passing game, but even more importantly the running game. Fajardo will need to learn to trust his young running backs in the read option and be comfortable not keeping the ball, which he did at times to much in his previous seasons.

With a relatively unproven offensive line, aside from Joel Bitonio and Matt Galas, and no proven running back, Fajardo will have more responsibility on the field in both production and leadership. Being a two-year starting quarterback should have groomed him for this role. He now has the experience and knowledge of the program to be the go to guy.

And for Nevada, that is exactly what they need.

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