Friday, June 3, 2011

Fresno State Bulldogs: Is There Really a QB Battle Between Derek Carr and Kelly O'Brien?


When the 2011 Fresno State football season opens there will be no drama or question who the man under center will be for the Bulldogs.

Young quarterback Derek Carr, the young brother of another Fresno State star, David Carr, has already been hyped up as one of the best young quarterbacks to come through Fresno State since, well, his brother. But that doesn't mean there aren't a few other guys behind him who will try to challenge him just a little bit when the team begins practices again.

Photo Courtesy: The Fresno Bee
Standing 6-foot-3 and 200 pounds, Carr is probably one of the most highly touted quarterbacks coming out of high school. He was ranked as the 12th best quarterback in the nation out of Bakersfield Christian High School and was named the Private School National Player of the Year in 2008.

During his senior year Carr broke 20 school records, threw for 4,067 yards and 46 touchdowns and chose Fresno State over LSU, Alabama, USC and Notre Dame just to name a few.

Kelly O'Brien, a 6-foot-7 205 pound junior college transfer from Foothill Junior College played backup to 2010 starter, Ryan Colburn, and should play the role of the backup again in 2011. His size allows him to see his receivers over the line of scrimmage and he has enough speed to get outside of the pocket and throw on the run. He's not your prototypical Division-I quarterback but Fresno State head coach Pat Hill still liked what he saw in O'Brien to bring him on board.

"Kelly has the tools to be an excellent quarterback," said Hill back in February of 2010. "I like his size and arm strength and especially his accuracy. He hasn't played a lot of football in his life, but he has a lot of intangibles that could make him a big part of our team. He is a raw talent with a huge upside. His development will be a key for the growth of our team."

Another young quarterback who could see time with the Bulldogs in 2011 is sophomore Greg Watson. Though undersized at 5-foot-11 and 185 pounds, Hill says he could be used more out of the wildcat formation. "Greg will be used as a quarterback and I see him more like an Ebahn Feathers, however he has played in a pro-style system which I like."

Watson did get some playing time in the team's final scrimmage back in April, completing six of his 13 pass attempts for 54 yards and a touchdown.

While O'Brien and Watson look to possibly getting some playing time in 2011, it may only come with the game is well in hand, or maybe even out of hand.

Derek Carr is the shoe-in to be the starter for Fresno State when they open the season on September 3rd in San Francisco, California against the University of California.

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