South Dakota May Play More Than One Quarterback – Just Don’t Call It a Platoon
One thing the University of South Dakota football team has an abundance of in 2016 is new faces. Of the 95 players opening fall camp in Vermillion, more than 40 percent are new to the program.
Also new in 2016, the Coyotes coaching staff, as former Western Illinois head coach Bob Nielson takes over for Joe Glenn.
Nielson inherits a team that is lacking in depth in a few areas, but has an overflow of talent at the quarterback position.
Ryan Saeger is coming into his senior season with 15 starts under his belt, including all 11 games last season. In 2015, Saeger completed 55 percent of his passes, tossed 12 touchdowns, and threw for nearly 2,000 yards, the sixth highest single-season total in school history.
But with a new up-tempo, no huddle offense arriving in Vermillion, Saeger isn't a lock to be the starter in 2016, thanks to a pair of new faces on the roster.
Junior Chris Streveler is a transfer from the University of Minnesota, where he saw limited action in two seasons, playing in ten games, with a six yard-per-carry average on 40 rushing attempts and four completions on 11 attempts passing, with a touchdown and interception.
Redshirt freshman Austin Simmons put up some impressive numbers at Lewis Central High School in Council Bluffs, Iowa - earning all-state honors his senior season after passing for 2,066 yards, running for 1,194 yards and combining for 46 touchdowns (25 pass, 21 rush). Simmons passed for 1,821 yards and 20 touchdowns during his junior season.
Nielson calls Streveler and Simmons 'highly athletic', and predicts some combination of two - or more - of those quarterbacks may see playing time for the Coyotes this season:
The Coyotes open the 2016 season at New Mexico, Thursday, September 1. The home opener is Saturday, September 10, against Weber State.