Knerr competing for starting spot
One thing is certain when the Bloomsburg football team takes the field in its August 31 opener at Stonehill College the Huskies will have a new signal caller under center.
With former quarterback Pat Carey and his 13 touchdowns graduating, a number of young players are competing to fill that void in the 2012 season.
One of those quarterbacks is sophomore Brady Knerr, a 2010 graduate of Emmaus High School who was listed as the team's third quarterback last season. He'll be competing against two redshirt freshman and a true freshman for the starting spot.
"[I'm] just trying to do things that I can control the best," said Knerr. "Whether it's taking control of the huddle, being a leader vocally, leading by example [or] congratulating guys. Letting guys know if we're not on the same page, what I thought I saw [and] what maybe they thought they saw.
"Just hopefully everything works out. It's for the best for everybody that we get the right guy to be behind center for us come August 31."
Compared to the other options at quarterback, Knerr saw some limited time at the position last season. While he may have more knowledge and playing time in the position, Knerr still understands how important his preparation is.
"He has the one-up," said head coach Danny Hale. "He has his know in our system over the others. He has performed a little bit more. So he's been around it."
"It gives definitely the older kids who have been here last year an advantage," said Knerr. "But it still is the same amount of how much hard work you put in this summer and preparation. And everything that matters on the field [and] how you do in camp."
Since spring practices began, Hale and the Huskies have been evaluating their talent to see who will be the team's next quarterback. And for Knerr, he's just trying to build on his game from a year ago to make his case for this season.
"Just trying to eliminate errors, mental errors, and trying to be 100 percent on all of our audibles [and] our checks what we call at the line of scrimmage because our offense relies heavily on the quarterback being able to check at the line of scrimmage," said Knerr. "So I'm just trying to bury my nose in the playbook.
"I just keep encouraging people, be a good leader and a good teammate most importantly. And definitely be a team player."
Hale, however, still hasn't decided on who will take the reigns.
"He's in competition with that whole group," said Hale. "Brady is right in the mix. I haven't settled on it yet. We'll see how this shakes out. It's going to go probably down to the wire."
Knerr who was originally recruited by the Huskies coming out of high school first attended Millersville University where he was redshirted as a freshman. Now, in his second season as a Husky, Knerr will look to lead a team that's returning a good amount of players from last season's squad.
"We're still a team that puts a lot of pressure on our quarterbacks," said Hale. "We educate them. We're not real complicated, but yet we want to run the best play possible versus the front and secondary we're seeing on our pre-snap read. So we expect our quarterback to put us in those plays and have a high percentage of success in doing that."
The Huskies who officially reported last Wednesday finished last season at 9-2, while going 5-2 in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC). They just missed out on a playoff spot, and will look to crack the postseason in 2012.
"I'm pleased with how the guys appeared to look as they come in," said Hale. "We need all these practices in preseason, but I'm optimistic."
"We're definitely trying to get back to the playoffs," said Knerr. "But our coaches keep reminding us that it's one game at a time. If we lose one game, it's how we're going to bounce back from that and answer to our next opponent. But right now our main focus is on August 31 at Stonehill."
Now entering his third collegiate season, Knerr has the chance to lead this team like he led his Hornets during his high school years. However, it'll be a little different this time around.
"It's what I expected, but definitely more challenging," said Knerr. "I have more responsibility. People expect you to hold yourself more accountable. The speed obviously is much more different."