After conceding that Boise State’s Kellen Moore is the top ranked quarterback in the Mountain West going into this season, the conversation becomes a little more interesting for the second spot.
San Diego State’s Ryan Lindley is the consensus pick for No. 2, but Air Force’s Tim Jefferson can make a case. The problem is, the two are very tough to compare because they’re entirely opposite. Lindley is a huge pocket passer – he’s predicted to go high in next year’s NFL draft and when you see him in person, it’s easy to see why. Lindley had about three times as many pass attempts as Jefferson last year, but Jefferson runs the triple option offense at an impressive level. Jefferson can’t match Lindley’s passing totals, but Lindley wasn’t sixth in the conference in rushing yards last year, like Jefferson.
They’re both fantastic quarterbacks in their own way, and Lindley has a lot of respect for Jefferson.
“You see those guys play and you respect them,” Lindley said. “You’re getting down and dirty with everybody else. The quarterback position, you have a stigma and they razz you a bit – ‘You don’t get hit, you aren’t doing everything everyone else is doing’ – but he’s taking the hits and running as much as anyone else and there’s a lot involved in that. You have to respect a guy that can put all that on his plate and produce.”
Lindley said it’s exciting to watch running quarterbacks like Jefferson, and that might be because running is not part of his game. Lindley had minus-31 rushing yards last year, with a long gain of nine yards. He has a lot of strengths but mobility isn’t one of them.
“I’m never calling for the option,” Lindley said.