San Diego State Football: The 3-way race for starting Quarterback
There’s finally a controversy at quarterback for the Aztecs.
Two returners and one newcomer means there’s healthy competition
Over the week at spring scrimmages, San Diego State is finally evaluating who they have at quarterback. There is healthy competition between returners Lucas Johnson and Jordon Brookshire and newcomer Jalen Mayden for the top spot in the Aztec offense. With spring ball back, the players are getting the reps they need in front of the team.
With spring ball Coach Hoke says:
” I think Lucas (Johnson) probably is a little ahead, but Jordon (Brookshire) performed well (at Friday’s scrimmage) and yesterday (at practice). Jalen (Mayden) is continuing to get familiar with the system, he is doing a nice job. I think there is really good competitive fight going on in that position.”
Last year’s quarterbacking was atrocious. Lucas Johnson was the, but injuries early in the season kept him out. So Carson Baker was calling the shots…until he wasn’t. Lucas Johnson was cleared to play and brought to life what an Aztec quarterback can and should look like.
So now there are 3 quarterbacks vying for position here.
Transfer from Georgia Tech. Recruited by San Diego State out of Mt. Carmel High School, before he committed to running the triple option at GT. He came back to San Diego to exhaust his remaining eligibility. He has a high ceiling as a dual-threat QB that San Diego State fans haven’t seen in a while. The downside to his game is his injury-prone body at Georgia Tech, which seems to follow him back to San Diego.
He is an agile dude under center, and able to flush out of the pocket when necessary. Yet, needs more development in the pocket. His accuracy was garbage in the 2020 season, an atrocious 42 of 74 completions. Without improving his accuracy, he’s just a running back that can complete a pass. Hard to imagine him being QB1 without vast improvements to his field vision.
Transfer from Mississippi State found his way west. Mayden is a redshirt sophomore who was sitting behind seniors who are more familiar with Mike Leach’s Air Raid offense than the offense he was recruited to play in 2018. He was a top 20 QB prospect out of high school, but only appeared in 3 games in 2019 and did not play a snap in 2020. Very possible he breaks out at San Diego State and becomes QB1 in 2021 and 2022.
This quarterback competition is healthy and good to have for Brady Hoke’s team. Last time around in 2010, Hoke had two years of 4-year starter Ryan Lindley’s services before leaving for Michigan. Seeing him attract another talent like Jalen Mayden shows that Hoke is willing to shape the program into what the Aztecs really need.
Nothing is guaranteed when you are the signal-caller for the San Diego State offense. Quarterbacks don’t grow on trees in San Diego, running backs do. But in a sport where the top 10 picks in the upcoming NFL draft are quarterbacks, it finally looks like there’s good controversy in April.