Recruiting season is nearly behind us and spring football is just weeks away. We are going to spend the next couple months previewing position units in the Mountain West. Please remember that with the extra COVID year there is some uncertainty on each roster heading into spring football. With that being said, let’s take a look at how each team currently sits at the quarterback position.
Haaziq Daniels should be considered for Pre-season Player of the Year. He put up impressive numbers at the quarterback position. However, he often flies under the radar because of the triple option system. Daniels has proven to be a productive leader and should give Air Force a realistic chance to win the conference.
The Broncos return Hank Bachmeier who will be entering his fourth year as a starter. He will be backed up by a talented redshirt freshman, Taylen Green, and Oregon State transfer Sam Vidlak. Bachmeier took steps in the right direction in 2021, and if the offensive line can make strides, he should be a dark horse candidate for Offensive Player of the Year.
The Aggies appear to have three capable quarterbacks heading into the season. It was a huge surprise to see Wyoming transfer Levi Williams land in Logan, and he will likely be the backup to Logan Bonner. The Aggies are coming off a championship season and will be a contender once again thanks, in large part, to the quarterback position.
Jake Haener will be the heavy favorite to be Offensive Player of the Year. Haener will have a talented redshirt freshman behind him in Jaylen Henderson. Another year behind Haener will serve Henderson well and should help the Bulldogs have a better transition into the 2023 season. Haener’s return should help the Bulldogs become the favorite in the West Division this fall.
San Jose State
I was shocked to see the Spartans land Hawaii transfer quarterback Chevan Cordeiro. I really thought we would see Cordeiro end up at a Power 5 school. Cordeiro should win the starting spot over Nick Nash, but I expect Nash to get some packages if he returns to San Jose. Landing Cordeiro has put the Spartans in a position to have a bounceback season in 2022.
If there is one thing I am sure of, it is that Jay Norvell will find a way to get solid play out of his quarterback. But there is some uncertainty at this spot for the Rams. I expect that Nevada transfer Clay Millen will likely win the spot as a redshirt freshman, but it will be a tall task for whoever plays quarterback to come away with many wins in a stacked Mountain Division.
San Diego State
The Aztecs have been good despite the lack of production from the quarterback position and they might run into the same problem in 2022. Virginia Tech transfer Braxton Burmeister will be the favorite to win the starting spot. Burmeister has plenty of starting experience, but his production has been average at best. Can he take the next step for the Aztecs? I’m not so sure.
The Rebels aren’t shy about using multiple quarterbacks, and we likely won’t know a starter until the season starts. True freshman Cameron Friel looked solid before suffering a late injury, but it appeared that Justin Rogers had a firm grip on the starting spot after leading the Rebels to some late season wins. Keep an eye on incoming freshman Jayden Maiava, he might be the most talented quarterback on the roster.
Brayden Schager was decent in relief of Chevan Cordeiro and will probably be the favorite unless Hawaii can find help in the transfer portal. New head coach and former Hawaii quarterback Timmy Chang will need to work some magic, because there aren’t many options for the Rainbow Warriors.
New Mexico has been a revolving door of quarterbacks the past few seasons. The outlook for the 2022 season isn’t much brighter. New Mexico needs to invest their time and resources into a young quarterback that can play now. Let him develop through the bumps and bruises and reap the rewards moving forward.
Wyoming added Utah State transfer Andrew Peasley. Peasley was likely going to be the third string quarterback at Utah State. Is this the best option moving forward? Or will they look for more additions through the transfer portal? If I am a Cowboy fan, I am very concerned about the quarterback situation moving forward.
If the bowl game was any indication of what the Wolf Pack quarterback situation will look like moving forward, fans in Reno are in for a rough 2022. I would be shocked if Nevada is not a player in the transfer portal moving forward, but at the current rate, they are in for a long 2022.
That’s it for this edition of “The Good, the Bad, the Ugly.” Next week we will take a look at the running back position. How do you feel about the quarterback situation in the Mountain West? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.