Senior Ryan Burns was named the starting quarterback for Stanford’s home opener against the Kansas State Wildcats on September 2nd. Junior quarterback Keller Chryst is also set to take snaps, as head coach David Shaw put it, will be leading “a few series”.
So what are we to make of these quarterbacks on the roster as the roller coaster of trying to find a new, permanent one to fill the roll will continue into the regular season. Taking a look at the Cardinal’s quarterbacks we can most likely see taking over the starter spot for the remainder of the season and avoid a drive by drive approach to the QB battle for more than a game if this team is to make a run.
Burns is everything that you want in a stereotypical Stanford quarterback. He stands tall in the pocket, manages the system that is built to look like a pro offense and can be sturdy and reliable. If we go back to his high school tape we seem him standing in the pocket and delivering deep strikes down field. With his size he can also rumble for yardage and bounce off of tacklers, much like a Big Ben. The biggest thing in his favor, however, is that he not only has been on the Stanford roster three years already but also had extensive workouts and camps with Stanford his junior and senior year of high school. For five years they have been grooming Burns, studying him and getting him to fit the Stanford mold. This is what could ultimately give him the edge.
This junior has a little more of the X factor to him as he has the size of Burns but is far more of a runner. Time and again in high school tape Chryst was forced to battle bad protection by somehow dodging and weaving edge rushers and finding an open man down field. He brings to mind a Tony Romo or bigger Russell Wilson. He has the potential to take the job from Burns as Shaw did mention how close the QB battle was today in a press conference.
“There hasn’t been a huge separation between the two, both guys have played extremely well. But I think Ryan has been barley, just barley, enough ahead to get the nod. But I think both guys are going to play and hopefully get us the win,” said Shaw.
The downside to Chryst is the fact that he does make a lot of throws in the scramble. Any easy way to defend is play back and instead of blitzing face him to squeeze the ball in between defenders in a crowded secondary.
This is by far the longest shot of the viable options on the roster but I have been on the Costello train since he signed with the Cardinal. Yes he is a freshman and he is the lighter of the three as the others weigh in at around 230 and Costello is 220. But I believe he has the best raw talent of any of these quarterbacks. He can fit the ball into tight spots down field and has the vision to test a defense over the middle as well as being able to move around the pocket and the chains. Granted their will be a learning curve with him. However, Stanford has some exciting offensive pieces with Christian McCaffrey and Michael Rector along with a host of promising young receiver talent. The other guys can manage this offense, but I think given the time Costello can really run with it.
The way the chips are falling now it looks like as long as Burns avoids disaster he can win this, but Costello is my dark horse winner for the job. You heard it here first.
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