Wednesday, September 03, 2014

The 4-1-1 on James Knapke

So, the news burst onto the scene in the past hour or so.  Matt Johnson will not play again this season due to a hip injury.  Given that he was considered the top QB in the conference, that's huge.  Even bigger, BG was transitioning to a new offense and now will through a new challenge into the mix.

The new QB is James Knapke.  He is a R-So who played in six games last year in a mop up role, as well as in the WKU game.  He is 4-10 passing in this career.

Doesn't mean he can't play, just means he hasn't.  He was a 3-star (ESPN--#76 QB) recruit out of Bishop Luers in Ft. Wayne, where he had a huge career.  He was a three-time state champion (first QB in Indiana to ever do that) and he was all-state as a senior.  He was part of the Clawson QB-a-year plan, and now he's going to get his shot.

A couple things.  First, there's no team that loses its starting QB without a blip.  It just doesn't happen.   This is the thing coaches fear most.  Having said that, the only people who know what Knapke can do are the people who have seen him practice.  Finally, he does have a very strong cast of players around him, which will certainly make his job easier.

So, my message to the Falcon faithful is not to lose hope.  Let's see how he does.  He does not play a truly meaningful game until October 4, so he has some time to get in the swing of it.  Let's not expect him to be Matt Johnson, give him some room and let him be who he is.  Let's hope the offense gathers around him to make it as easy as possible and the defense realizes they need to carry some more of the load and picks their game up.  This is a shocking, huge set back...but let's not write the season off an hour after finding out.

For those who are interested, BG has only two QBs behind Knapke...Nolan Dieter (walk-on brother to our WR and no game experience) and true FR Cody Callaway, who I assume is slated to be red-shirted but could play.  (A tweet from John Wagner indicates that Callaway is the back up, but remember, he was not even here for spring ball.)  The only other QB on the roster is transfer Clayton Nicholas, who is not eligible.

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