Air Force starting quarterback Kale Pearson says he feels no pressure to live up to the standard set by his immediate predecessors, Tim Jefferson and Connor Dietz, both of whom were instrumental in helping the Falcons to six consecutive bowl games.
“Connor and Tim, those were great quarterbacks to learn from,” Pearson said. “Hopefully I can be just as good as those guys.”
“I’m a little bit different than those guys,” he continued. “I’ve gotten to where I am not because I’ve tried to perfectly simulate them, but work on and focus on my strengths.”
That primary strength? Quickness.
The problem is, as just 5-foot-9, 175 pounds, he’s not a guy who can regularly take on defenders if he breaks into the secondary.
So, we may see him hit the deck on occasion.
“I have never done that, but my dad is a high school football coach and every time I talk to him he’s saying, ‘Don’t take the hits. Stay healthy. If you can slide, do it. You don’t always have to get that extra yard,’” Pearson said. “Sometimes there are, obviously, times you have to get that extra yard, but sometimes there aren’t. You’ve got to be able to play the next play, the next game, the whole season. I’m a small guy, so there will be times I have to dart around or slide.”
Pearson’s backfieldmate Jon Lee described the junior quarterback as having “crowd pleasing” talents.
“He brings a lot more flash to the offense,” Lee said. “If he takes the ball instead of pitching it, I know he can take it to the house just as well as I can.”