There’s absolutely no question that Nebraska’s biggest issue with the skeptics heading into the fall is that of the quarterback position and the ability of Zac Lee. And even though few did get a chance to see Nebraska’s spring game where Lee showcased his talents by going 15/18 for 214 yards with 3 TD’s, they are still quickly to summarize the Huskers’ quarterback situation by simply saying, ‘Joe Ganz graduated and Patrick Witt transferred.’
It won’t be until September 5th that the rest of the Big 12 and college football will get their first glance of Nebraska’s probable quarterback for the next two seasons. Nobody knows Zac Lee yet.
In one year at San Francisco Community College, the 6’2, 215 lb. Lee impressed by leading the Rams to an average of 40 points/game while tallying up 3,400 passing yards, 35 touchdowns, and completing 64 percent of his passes. Other accolades that shouldn’t be underestimated were his team’s 10-2 record and an appearance in the California junior college title game, not to mention that he was considered the nation’s top junior college quarterback by Rivals.com, Scout.com, and SuperPrep Magazine.
That experience alone is an enormous difference to consider when you compare Lee with every other newbie that will be at the helm for the first time in their careers this season. Enormous difference.
(the quotes below are taken from Brian Christopherson’s article in the LJS on Tuesday)
Said Bo Pelini:
- “He’s a very confident young man, borderline cocky, but not cocky. Very grounded. I’ve been around a lot of athletes and I like his makeup. I’m looking forward to having him as our quarterback.”
- “He can make all the throws. He can get it out there down the field. He can throw those deep comebacks when need be. … There are some kids you don’t want that ball going to the outside of the field. Zac isn’t one of those guys.”
- “We have to temper him sometimes. Sometimes he thinks he can put the ball in a pinhole. He has that makeup about him where he thinks he can do anything. Fortunately he’s taken well with Coach Watson and how he coaches him.”
- “A natural leader.”
Said Roy Helu:
- “He knows he hasn’t arrived by any means and we know we haven’t arrived as an offense. Leadershipwise, he has it. He was born with it. He’s funny. He’s a guy in the huddle who will come in – we’re in the middle of competition with the defense – and he’ll tell a joke. He’s kind of like a replica of Joe (Ganz), except his arm’s a little different and he’s just as fast if not faster.”
According to Christopherson, Shawn Watson told a group of Husker supporters recently that ‘Lee throws as good a ball as anyone he’s coached in 28 years.’
The bottom line is that this offense is going to be much more dynamic this season with the loss of Ganz. Joe was a fine college quarterback, but as Roy Helu said, Lee’s arm is a ‘little different’ and ‘he’s just as fast if not faster.’
And with some of the young speedsters at WR that haven’t seen much time before – such as Curenski Gilleylen, Marcus Mendoza, Antonio Bell, and Khiry Cooper – to go along with Niles Paul, Menelik Holt, Chris Brooks, Will Henry, and of course TE Mike McNeill (recently named to the Mackey Award watch list,) the Huskers have the pieces to not only be dynamic, but very explosive.