The quickest path for the SDSU Aztecs to the top of the Mountain West standings at the season’s end would be for quarterback Jordon Brookshire to develop into a star.
When the coaches made official what Brookshire had made obvious during the second scrimmage, that he was head and shoulders better than any quarterback in camp, it was not met with the excitement by the fan base that it deserved.
The hope in any competition is for all the players involved to play well, but for one of them to clearly separate themselves from the others. This is precisely what played out in the quarterback room over the past year at SDSU.
Aztec coaches have been adamant about their comfort level with any of the three QBs vying for the position.
The trio was so good, in fact, that though the coaches sincerely left the door open for freshman William Haskell to assert himself into the race, the wildly talented phenom was never really a factor. If Brookshire emerging as QB1 was the clearest development in the quarterback battle, the second was that Haskell was the fourth-best signal-caller in camp.
Most detractors from Brookshire point to his uneven performance in the final three games of 2020. Perhaps it was his status as a junior that brought the harsh criticism and the feeling that he was closer to a finished product than just beginning his journey. Whatever the reason, writing off a player after his first three Division One games is foolish.
Brookshire is currently in the first year of a Master’s program. If he chooses to finish that degree and stay an additional year on the Mesa, last season’s brief cameo would be the equivalent of a sophomore year in a normal schedule. He is in his third year in the program, with possibly one more left to go. He is far from a finished product.
Can Brookshire develop into an all-conference quarterback?
On the other hand, if Brookshire is to become the first Aztec QB in more than a decade to bring home all-conference honors, it will be because he is far different from the player from last season. He carried the ball 45 times in his three games last year. To put that into perspective, running back Kaegun Williams was second on the team in carries during that span with 27 attempts. It would be surprising if Brookshire leads the team in rushing attempts once this year.
That change alone will make Brookshire unrecognizable compared to a season ago. Last year, when his first read was not there, he tucked the ball and tried to gain a few positive yards. This season, he moves with intention, keeps his eyes downfield, and buys extra time for his receivers. Last year, he was the hunted. This year, he is the hunter.
The start of the season is a time for predictions.
Here is one. When Jordon Brookshire leaves the Mesa, he will depart as an all-conference caliber quarterback.