2022 Mountain West Football Top 50: #1, Fresno State QB Jake Haener
The Bulldogs quarterback is the top-ranked player on our preseason countdown of Mountain West football’s best headed into the 2022 season.
The pride of the San Joaquin Valley.
It’s no secret that Fresno State football history has a long list of great quarterbacks: Kevin Sweeney, Trent Dilfer, David and Derek Carr, Marcus McMaryion and, now, Jake Haener, the number one player on this year’s preseason countdown of Mountain West football’s elite.
Haener originally committed to Washington and saw time in four games during the 2018 season before transferring to Fresno State and sitting out the following year. That layoff would prove worth the wait, though: While the Bulldogs battled the vagaries of COVID throughout 2020, Haener averaged 38.7 pass attempts per game and completed 64.7% of those throws, averaged 8.7 yards per attempt, and threw 14 touchdowns against five interceptions.
2021 was even better. Though he got beaten up at times throughout the season, most notably in a memorable win over UCLA, Haener finished second in the Mountain West with a 67.1% completion rate and 4,096 passing yards while throwing 33 touchdowns with an interception rate of 1.8%.
That sets the stage for a 2022 season where the expectations among the Red Wave are as high as they’ve ever been. Haener will have a tall task on his hands guiding the Bulldogs toward another conference title, and perhaps more, but the preseason offensive player of the year will be dangerous every week no matter what.
Fresno State’s Jake Haener, who was dealing with hip pain all night, threw the game-winning TD against No. 13 UCLA with 14 seconds left.
He finished with 455 passing yards, two TDs and the W 😤
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) September 19, 2021
Fresno St. QB Jake Haener can spin it. Some impressive throws and moments vs. Oregon.
A QB prospect to keep an eye on. pic.twitter.com/6vR9LadhTe
— Jordan Reid (@Jordan_Reid) September 29, 2021