Comments on Smith named starting QB

¬†Certainly no surprise Wyoming coach Dave Christensen named true freshman Brett Smith the starting quarterback. But he jumped the gun a little bit as he said last Saturday he would wait until Aug. 29 (Monday) to do it. He also said after UW’s third scrimmage of fall camp there wouldn’t be any news conference or news release on who the starting quarterback would be.

Well, there was a news release that came out just before practice started Tuesday. But all it did was confirm what most felt would happen based on what occurred in spring drills and fall camp. The most experienced guy got the job as Smith was around for both. Junior-college transfer Colby Kirkegaard and true freshman Adam Pittser were not.

Kirkegaard is the backup and Pittser is No. 3. Christensen said he would like to redshirt Pittser if possible.

Christensen isn’t allowing any of his quarterbacks to talk to the media, but here’s some comments Tuesday from others:

–“We evaluated everything and had a chance to talk to the players. We like to do that before we start announcing things to the public and the media. I would say he’s further ahead than I would have anticipated. The key for him is it has to happen Sept. 3.” — Christensen.

–“Brett definitely earned his stripes with us starting in the spring. He came in doing all the things we wanted him to do, and more. He definitely earned the starting quarterback job here. He’s one of the hardest working guys I know.” — senior receiver Mazi Ogbonna

–“We have all the confidence in him. He’s our starter. He’s our quarterback so he’s got to step it up. We’re going to ride with him.” — sophomore tight end T.J. Smith

–“He’s extremely confident directing the offense. He’s confident and comfortable in the pocket. When he’s been under pressure he steps up and makes a play. (The offense) is extremely confident in him. He’s a freshman, but he’s a leader. He doesn’t act like a freshman. If you didn’t know him you’d think he was an upper-classman.” — junior center Nick Carlson

–“The biggest thing about that kid is he’s a great competitor. He will make himself into a great quarterback because of his work ethic, and he loves to compete. It helps he can throw the ball and he’s pretty mobile. He’s got some God-given ability, but its what’s inside the heart that’s going to get him over the top.” — offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Gregg Brandon

See my column on Smith being¬†named starter in Wednesday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle www.wyomingnews.com and Laramie Boomerang www.laramieboomerang.com

In some other notes from practice Tuesday:

–This was UW’s first practice since last Saturday. Players were in shoulder pads, shorts and helmets and practiced outside. The Cowboys practice Wednesday, are off Thursday and then practice through the weekend.

–Christensen said he will wait until Monday to announce other starters and depth chart moves.

–Christensen also said possibly half of the true freshmen on the roster could play this season, but nothing has definitely been set in stone.

–Three walk-ons were added to the roster as school started Monday: OL Andrew Crow (6-1, 260) from Laramie; DL Garrison Hocker (6-2, 220) from Augusta, Mich., and OL Carson Kass (6-2, 265) from Naches, Wash.

–Scouts from the New York Jets and Minnesota Vikings were at practice.

  • Chris

    It is a shame to see Pittser at the 3 or possible red shirting. Based Only on the fact of understanding the offense right now, should not be the reason for the knee jerk reaction. I assume he was rated in the espn top 15 as qb last year for a reason. He is good. Mechanically clean, strong arm and a strong competitor. If time is given, he will succeed and do very well. I have only seen a few sessions of him and some espn film. Looked good! For Cowboy fans, I would be concerned that Pittser may leave and find a program where he can play or have more of an opportunity o play. When it is all said and done, Pittser will prove that he is a quality D1 QB.

    • rgagliardi

      I don’t think by redshirting him they don’t think he’s a quality QB. That’s the plan now but plans.can change in a hurry. If he keeps.competing and working at it I could see him moving up. He will travel and go.through all the meetings. But also, all the hype and HS accomplishments are great but college is a different game. Hope he continues to work hard and practice well. If he does good things will happen.

      RG

      • Timmy Jack

        Holy Moley, the season hasn’t even begun and Pittser is DOA? No way, this kid is good- very good. He will see some action as Smith by no means is MWC offensive player and Kirkegaard looks decent too. We will need all our best pony’s in the stable once we get into the “meat” of the schedule. Game time and Practice are different just like HS and College…ask Allen Iverson about that….Pokes by 40, Weber State….to beat you to the punch Robert!

        • rgagliardi

          You did beat me Timmy, but good call. Hope you are right.

          RG

    • Chris

      Well taken. I believe Pittser is the best talent of the three. Afraid that looking at “the big picture” UW may loose him to transfer. With two young players ahead of him and rumors of 3 top notch QB prospects…….Just don’t want to see that happen. By all means, NOT at all saying I can evaluate near what a college staff can. Played and watched a lot of football and know when I see something good. Just do not want to see it wasted or lost. Thanks for the replies!

      • rgagliardi

        You do bring up a good point Chris in the fact a lot of players (not just QBs) want to play right away more than ever before. A former UW coach once told me Laramie is a tough place for a student-athlete to be a backup. There’s some truth to that.

        It’s how these young people handle that early in their careers. Whether its a football player, hoops, tennis, or whatever. I saw flashes of talent from Pittser that really impressed me, and I hope we get to see it. On the other hand, if you are a coach you want to recruit the best players you can. You can’t approach a situation and say “I have a good starting QB, so lets go get two lesser guys so the starter doesn’t get upset and leave.”

        It’s a tough balance, and seems to get tougher every year.

        RG

  • Mark K

    After 18-20 practices and 3 scrimmages you feel our coaching staff made a knee jerk reaction? You feel you can better evaluate him after watching a few practices and some espn film than our staff can? Your good. His learning curve was much greater than either Smith’s or Kirkegaard’s as both those guys played in similar offenses in HS. I’m sure the young man understands this and understands the reason to redshirt him if need be. You are right he is a very talented QB and his time will come, just not right now. Smith is also a very talented QB and gives the team the best chance to be successful right now, and I think he will be. Pittser will get his opportunity right here, but will have to earn it. I just happy we have 3 talented QB’s fighting for playing time. Trust that our staff knows what they are doing. My 2 cents. GO POKE’S!

  • Ron smith

    One year older, 15 pounds heavier, fall, spring & fall practice ahead of him plus four years of eligibility starting next year. How is that giving up on some one? What in the word “rebuilding” doesn’t the typical fan understand? I think it is Brett that is on the hot seat which may be unfair since he also is a true freshman. He won the job and now its fish or cut bait! By the way how was your fishing trip?

    • rgagliardi

      Good points Ron,

      Any fishing trip is good, but the water was still pretty high which made fishing tough. Still was great to get away for a week or so. Thanks for asking.

      RG

  • kk

    Every year the majority of the nation ends the year complaining about how the current

    system is run and how it arrives at its national champion. Its the only sport within the NCAA that this seems to happen time and time again. Every D1 school should be able to be given that legitimate chance of winning it all. Thats why we play and watch in the first place. I have diagramed a scheme that just might work. By keeping intact most of the current system (such as Bowl games and Polling) while creating 6 super conferences. The money distribution will be as is now, but exposure will create more money for the smaller teams in this system. Hopefully this diagram will help with something in the future. I hope it will, as for the most of us, this is what we would love to see….

    This is my link to the diagram:

    http://www.collegefootballrealignment.com

    Go Pokes!