Aug. 14, 2012
STANFORD, Calif.--Stanford lists seven quarterbacks on its roster as the Cardinal plans for life without Andrew Luck, the 2012 Walter Camp Football Foundation Player of the Year and Maxwell Award winner who helped elevate the program to national elite status during his three-year career.
A two-time Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year and twice runner-up for the Heisman Trophy, Luck concluded his brilliant career ranked first all-time in touchdown passes (82), completion percentage (.687), passing efficiency (162.76) and total offense (10,387). He quarterbacked Stanford to a cumulative 31-7 career record in his 38 career starts, including an 8-3 mark against Top 25 competition.
Juniors Josh Nunes and Robbie Picazo, along with sophomore Brett Nottingham, are the only quarterbacks on the roster with game experience. Nottingham saw action in six games last season as Luck's understudy and completed five of eight passes for 78 yards and one touchdown.
Nunes was slowed by a foot injury last year and did not see action, but did appear in four games as a redshirt freshman in 2010. Picazo saw his first game action last season, making an appearance against San Jose State.
Redshirt freshmen Evan Crower, Kevin Hogan and David Olson, along with Dallas Lloyd, who signed with Stanford in 2010 before going on a two-year church mission, round out the list of quarterbacks on the roster.
Nunes and Nottingham entered training camp in a dead heat for the starting job, while Hogan is also making a strong push to enter the picture, as well, after an impressive first week of practice.
The deciding factor in determining a starter for the season opener against San Jose State might not be arm strength or mastery of a complex playbook.
"Ultimately it will come down to who can best manage bad plays," said the Andrew Luck Director of Offense/Offensive Coordinator and Quarterbacks coach Pep Hamilton. "There are times when a play breaks down and we want to see who instinctively can find that check down to extend the play.
"We are big on not beating ourselves. Whoever can manage bad plays and move our team down the field will win the job. Only time will tell. You just don't know until they have to respond to the pressures of a game."
While it's unreasonable to look for comparisons between this year's set of quarterbacks and their notable predecessor, Hamilton does not underestimate the importance of Luck's influence in playing a crucial role in the successful transition of this position.
"If they go about preparing themselves not just for the game but for every practice like Andrew did, they will have a chance to be successful in our system."
In this installment of Previewing the Cardinal, Pep Hamilton provides insight to the quarterback competition as the season opener with San Jose State draws nearer.