When Trey Anderson signed with Pitt late as a walk-on, I didn't think all that much of it. It's tough enough for a walk-on at any position to get playing time, but quarterback? Forget about it. Still though, seemed like a wise move to bring in a proven winner in the wake of all the Anthony Gonzalez stuff going around.
You know - a third quarterback to have 'just in case' while Gonzalez was out behind Mark Myers. Well, it appears that's not quite Anderson's role. For now, he's the backup quarterback.
Paul Zeise had that
little important nugget in his daily fall camp blog:
I thought the the two quarterbacks --- Tino Sunseri and Trey Anderson -- really threw the ball well. Mark Myers appears to have fallen into the third spot right now.
Quarterbacks coach Todd Dodge actually clarified that for us and said that appearances are not deceiving and that Anderson is in deed now the backup.
"[Anderson] is a guy that has a lot of intangibles, a lot of moxy," Dodge said. "He is nothing to write home about yet, but we've been very pleased. And after the first scrimmage, he is taking the reps with the twos right now. There is still a competition for who our backup quarterback is going to be. Right now, if we played tomorrow, he would be the guy who is one play away [from stepping into the starters role]."
Discount it all you want, that's a big deal. A real big deal - here's why.
Gonzalez is suspended for the first two games. Throw in the fact that Todd Graham has him playing H-back and wide receiver right now (also detailed in Paul's notes) and it doesn't look like he's going to be back there at quarterback this season.
And for Mark Myers, a guy who looks more like a prototypical quarterback, to be behind Anderson at this point really says something. In case you forgot, Anderson's been at Pitt for all of about three weeks - three weeks! In that time he's shown a better grasp of Pitt's system than Myers, who had the benefit of being around in the Spring? And while the system was completely different last season under Dave Wannstedt, Myers had the benefit of being around the team and working with the players.
Oh yeah, about that system. In all fairness, it's reportedly one that Anderson ran in high school, so he's plenty familiar with it. But for a three-week old walk-on to be higher up on the depth chart than a guy who fans clamored for to start last season as a true freshman? Man how times change.
So much, in fact, that all this talk about being a redshirt may be out the window:
Anderson says he plans to redshirt this season.
"Pittsburgh has a starting quarterback and two backups," Anderson said, "so I’m going to sit back, watch and learn. Honestly, me and my dad have always talked that all I need is one opportunity.
The other thing to consider is the 'what if' factor. While I was a supporter of Tino Sunseri last year, I'm well aware that plenty of people weren't. He had a solid, but unspectacular season and if Pitt should happen to falter, there's a very real possibility that Graham could go to the backup. This isn't a situation at other schools where the starting quarterback is etched in stone forever and ever. Don't misunderstand me - Sunseri is certainly the ironclad starter right now, but this system is a big 'if' for him. He's going to get the benefit of the doubt (as well he should, by the way) and will have plenty of time to figure things out. But, if he struggles, the possibility exists that we could see Anderson.
For the record, I don't think we will. It sounds as Tino has been plenty capable during the Spring and the Fall and I don't personally see him faltering enough that Graham goes with Anderson.
But you never know.