Utah State football preview 2016: Quarterbacks

<em>This is the last in a series of previews of the 2016 Utah State football team. The other previews can be found at these links: <a href=”http://www.cachevalleydaily.com/sports/article_a8767102-5db9-11e6-8e72-876267ee69ec.html” target=”_blank”>Offensive line</a>, <a href=”http://www.cachevalleydaily.com/sports/article_c646adcc-5e82-11e6-a8e0-634ab124a813.html” target=”_blank”>Wide receivers</a>, <a href=”http://www.cachevalleydaily.com/sports/article_5c5ed972-5f8e-11e6-b671-7392ae4fb32b.html” target=”_blank”>Special teams</a>, <a href=”http://www.cachevalleydaily.com/sports/article_7e176f5e-62bb-11e6-b5dc-dba717bdd756.html” target=”_blank”>Linebackers</a>, <a href=”http://www.cachevalleydaily.com/sports/article_971bb17c-640f-11e6-99ed-5bf8df6b8419.html” target=”_blank”>Running backs</a>, <a href=”http://www.cachevalleydaily.com/sports/article_f84a79d4-64bd-11e6-bf82-4b060fda5e60.html” target=”_blank”>Tight ends</a>, <a href=”http://www.cachevalleydaily.com/sports/article_3635f838-68fe-11e6-b347-e7cde5aef2c7.html” target=”_blank”>Defensive backs</a>, <a href=”http://www.cachevalleydaily.com/sports/article_46b10922-6a21-11e6-ac09-ef4b49d5a50b.html” target=”_blank”>Defensive line</a></em>

LOGAN – There was no battle for the starting quarterback spot this year. Head coach Matt Wells made it clear from the start of fall camp that Kent Myers has the job. It is the first preseason in Myers’ time at Utah State he has been named the starter, but the junior is far from inexperienced. He has played significant time in 16 games during the last two seasons.

Myers started the 2014 season as an unknown freshman from Rowlett, Texas, but finished it as a record-setting starter from one week to the next. He was thrown into the starting spot after the three quarterbacks in front of him each went down with separate injuries, but when he took the field for his first start at Hawaii he completed 14-of-15 passes for 186 yards with three touchdowns. The 93.3 percent completion was both a USU and Mountain West Conference record. Three weeks later he became the first USU quarterback in the modern era to run for three touchdowns in a game. He finished the season with a 5-1 record as a starter including a win against UTEP in the Gildan New Mexico Bowl.

Myers was back in 2015, but so was Chuckie Keeton. When Keeton was healthy, Myers took the backup job. During his first game back in 2015, Myers set the USU record for rushing yards by a quarterback when he ran for 191 yards against Colorado State. Myers ended up playing in nine games, rushing for 356 total yards and passing for 1,593.

Myers said this year is different.

“The last two seasons I’ve been thrown into the fire,” he said. “I’m more confident this year. If I was able to do it being thrown in there a game at a time, knowing that this is my season has made me not become complacent. I’ve been working really hard this off-season.”

With record-setting performances in both rushing and passing, head coach Matt Wells knows he has a dual-threat guy taking the snaps.

“He’s absolutely somebody you have to account for in the running game, especially if you play a lot of man coverage,” he said. “He’s another running back, back there who happens to be able to pass the ball very well and continues to improve. He’s deep ball has gotten better, but he’s still improving and still getting better.”

Wells said that since he has been at Utah State there has only been one season where injuries haven’t affected the quarterback position. He is hoping this year will be the second, but if it isn’t, Myers has some backups.

Damion Hobbs is likely the No. 2 guy. He has played in seven total games, completed 4-of-5 passes for 73 yards and has picked up 110 yards on 20 carries. Myers described Hobbs as “a big body who can run and throw.”

DJ Nelson played in every game last year as the team’s holder. Redshirt freshman Cade Smith and true freshman Jordan Love are also listed in the depth chart.

“All of them are good, they can all throw, they can run,” Myers said. “You could play all five of us. It really doesn’t matter. We have ability in there. You could play Cade Smith, you could play DJ (Nelson). They’re all pushing me and all have the ability to start.”

Wells said he would prefer to redshirt Love and is hoping he won’t have to play this year. Myers sees a lot of potential in the true freshman who graduated high school early to join the team in the spring.

“He’s been kind of my little brother and I’ve been showing him around,” Myers said. “If you know the players and can teach someone else, that makes you better.”

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