SFA Football 2012 Preview: Quarterbacks
Aug. 13, 2012
NACOGDOCHES, Texas - With a year under his belt at the helm of one of the most electric offenses in the country, Brady Attaway looks poised to take the another step forward in 2012 as the feature piece of a quality stable of Lumberjack quarterbacks.
From 2008 to 2010 the Lumberjacks saw over 90 percent of its passes come from the right arm of former Walter Payton Award winner Jeremy Moses, but a year ago head coach J.C. Harper tabbed Attaway with the task of following Moses, and in his first year as starter he showed what the Lumberjack coaching staff saw in him to hand him that role.
The strong-armed Attaway threw for 27 touchdowns and over 3,100 yards in 2011 and helped lead the `Jacks to five consecutive wins to close out the year. In those five games he completed nearly 60 percent of his passes for over 300 yards per game and connected with his receivers for scores 18 times. That strong finish to the season helped fuel his selection entering this season as the all-SLC second-team quarterback on the preseason team.
His statistics also moved him into the top 10 single-season passing rankings in multiple categories, but with a year of seasoning and 10 starters returning on offense, it's fair to say that the bar has been raised. Still, Attaway has embraced those expectations and feels as though he's done everything possible to prepare himself for a successful 2012.
"I feel a lot more confident this year," Attaway said. "My decision-making is a lot better going into this season and it doesn't hurt to be challenged every day by our defense, who is one of the best groups out there."
However, one of the challenges facing Attaway and the offense this season will be working with his third offensive coordinator in as many years. After Mike Nesbitt left in the spring to head to the University of Houston, the `Jacks brought in Dick Olin, an offensive guru from the Texas high school ranks over the past 20 years. His credentials speak for himself having coached nine Division I quarterbacks in his high school tenure at Baytown Lee, including Drew Tate (Purdue), Clint Stoerner (Arkansas), Ell Roberson (Kansas State), Brian Johnson (Utah) and Jeremy Moses himself.
"It's different working with a different coordinator each year, but I really like Coach Olin and I feel like he's teaching me a lot," Attaway said. "I definitely think he's the right guy for us."
But Attaway is not the only quarterback who will be taking directions from Olin this year as three other quarterbacks will battle for playing time as Attaway's primary back-up this season. The frontrunner looks to be redshirt freshman Joe Minden, a highly-touted prep prospect from Coppell, Texas, who took repetitions in practice last year while serving as the third-string signal caller. Minden threw for over 3,400 yards and 30 touchdowns as a senior at CHS, setting school records for in both categories.
Meanwhile, Colt Plaster and Hunter Taylor round out the SFA quarterbacks with Plaster entering the season as the only other SFA quarterback who has seen any collegiate action, albeit just in one game. He completed three of his four pass attempts, including a touchdown, in last season's opener vs McMurry and is another reliable option for the `Jacks to turn to should he be pressed into duty.
Taylor, like Attaway from Whitehouse, Texas, was a two-time all-state selection at WHS. A likely candidate for a redshirt as a true freshman, Taylor led the nation's high-school ranks in passing as a senior while throwing for 105 career touchdowns.
Aug. 13 - Quarterbacks