For the next few weeks, we are going to be previewing some of the most intriguing positions in the Mountain West for the upcoming football season. This week, we are previewing the quarterbacks where there is one obvious standout, but there are some other intriguing options out there.
Jordan Love (Utah State)
Jordan Love will enter the season with more recognition than any offensive player in the Mountain West. He proved that he has the ability to put up some crazy numbers and that likely won’t change in 2019. I do have a few concerns when it comes to Love and Utah State. Will they play at the same blistering pace under Mike Sanford? Will the new offensive line be able to protect Love? Love has the talent to have another special year, but he will need some unexpected stars to emerge.
Chase Cord and Hank Bachmeier (Boise State)
Look, I know it seems wrong to put the Broncos here, but Bachmeier is the highest rated recruit in the Mountain West and has a ton of talent. The interesting question is if he can pass the injured Chase Cord. I am a big believer in Cord, but ACL injuries are tricky. If Cord is healthy, he has the size and speed to be special. Whoever the quarterback is, they have a wealth of riches at wide receiver.
Collin Hill has as much talent as any quarterback in the Mountain West. But, the Rams are a hot mess right now, and some people believe Patrick O’Brien might end up under center. Whoever the starter is, I expect the Rams to put up huge numbers through the air. The biggest question for the Rams will be finding a capable running back to support their quarterback.
Regardless of who starts, Hawaii should be in good shape behind center. The biggest concern will be avoiding mistakes and continuing to play fast. Whether it is Cordeiro or McDonald, they should be able to put up some dynamic numbers.
San Diego State
Rocky Long has put together some great teams since becoming the coach at San Diego State, but the biggest struggle of his coaching tenure has been finding a capable quarterback. Until they find some consistency at the position, I’m going to be a doubter.
Armani Rogers is super talented. I could have justified putting the Rebels in the “Good” category. However, Rogers has struggled to stay healthy, and while he is a dynamic runner, he struggles with accuracy. I think Rogers and the Rebels have a ceiling and it is 6-6 at best.
I’m not sold on Malik Henry, and I saw enough of Christian Solano to know that he is not the solution. I think the Wolf Pack are in trouble at the quarterback position. Maybe Henry can reach the potential that made him such a highly rated recruit out of high school, but I will need to see it to believe it.
San Jose State
Did any NCAA team play more quarterbacks than the Spartans in 2018? San Jose State looked capable in spurts at times last year, but their recruiting has been mediocre at best. It does not appear that they have a star quarterback waiting in the wings.
The New Mexico offense was confusing in 2018. Are they an option team or not? They have recruited players that fit the option offense, but are drifting away from that style of play. Do they have a quarterback that fits their current style of play? I don’t think so.
That’s it for this edition of “The Good, the Bad, the Ugly.” Next week we will be previewing what the running back position will look like in 2019.