Position Preview: Quarterbacks

(Photo by Abby Fullenkamp)

We reviewed the defense last week but now it is time to take a look at an offense full of new play makers.  In just a year this position has undergone quite a bit of change.  Gone are Dalton Douglass, Alec Cromer and Ethan Bullock.  However, the constant of Taryn Christion at the helm should assure all Jackrabbit fans.  I had the chance to visit with Coach Eric Eidsness who is the quarterback coach and the offensive coordinator.  He's excited about having another season to coach Taryn and wondered what might have been for Taryn if the new red shirt rules had been in place in Taryn's true freshman season.

Obviously Taryn is penciled in as the number one quarterback this season but after that there is fierce competition for the number two and number three quarterback spots.  The third spot matters because that is a travel roster spot. 

#3 Taryn Christion (6-2, 225) enters his senior year as the unquestioned leader of the offense.  Statistically, Taryn had another great season.  He will look to continue to build on his outstanding resume without his top two targets, Dallas Goedert and Jake Wieneke.  However, the cupboard is far from empty.  Last season Taryn completed 58.2% of his passes for 3515 yards and 35 touchdowns.  Taryn did throw 14 interceptions, 6 of which came in the playoff loss to James Madison.    He also ran for 500 yards and another 9 touchdowns.  Jackrabbit fans should be sure to appreciate Taryn in 2018 as he is one of the most dynamic players we have seen in Brookings.  Eidsness stressed that Taryn's challenge this year will be adjusting to throwing to new guys.  Little details like ball placement and throw location will take some getting used to.  He also said that Taryn is now the undisputed leader of the offense.  Last year he was able to rely on the other three senior captains on offense but now it is up to him to get everyone together. 

#12 Kanin Nelson (6-4, 200) enters his third fall with the team with the opportunity to be the primary backup to Taryn.  Kanin has a good grasp on the playbook and understands concepts when they are put up on the board but it now has to translate to the field.  According to Eidsness, Kanin has grown in his confidence and is a hard worker.  If he improves his read progression and ability to adjust when the play breaks down or the defense disguises their coverage or pressure then he will have a good season.  However, he is being pushed by the two freshmen, J'Bore Gibbs and Matt Connors for the number two spot.         

#2 J'Bore Gibbs (6-3, 220) from Chicago, IL enters as one of the most highly regarded recruits since Taryn.  J'Bore led his high school team to two state championships in three seasons.  #14 Matt Connors (6'4 195) from Collierville, TN has been equally impressive in his work this summer.  Eidsness shared that both have strong arms, good accuracy, and have earned the respect from their teammates this summer during the player practices.    Both of these freshmen put themselves in position to compete to play in their first year of college football. 

#16 Justin Roberts (6-4, 225) sat out last season after transferring from the University of Nebraska Kearney and has two years of eligibility remaining.  Eidsness said that he has all of the arm talent and physical tools but the game still hasn't slowed down for him.  He's still developing that consistent mental awareness.  

Additional Position Previews
Defensive Ends
Defensive Tackles

Go Jacks!


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