Josh Nunes is the starting quarterback for the 2012 Stanford Cardinal. Head coach David Shaw made the announcement after practice today that the redshirt junior won the quarterback completion over redshirt sophomore Brett Nottingham and redshirt freshman Kevin Hogan.
“It feels great,” Nunes said. “It has been something that I have wanted a long time obviously.”
For Shaw, he said it was time to come to a decision and move on. “It became clear (who the winner was),” Shaw said. “I am not one for waiting. Once it became clear, I decided to do it today. Now Josh can take all the reps with the 1s and we can go into game week without this distraction.”
Shaw made a point to say this was not about anything his other quarterbacks did, but what won the job for Nunes was clearly the consistency he showed the coaches and his ability to run the offense.
“The entire time from the time we started, from the workouts in the winter to the spring camp to training camp, all the empirical evidence that we have collected, Josh has been the most consistent and the best guy for the job,” Shaw said. “The most important part is that we are efficient and that is the main job of the quarterback to get us into the right play at the right time. “
Stanford has only had a few open to the public practices during the offseason. During those rare glimpses into the quarterback competition, most observers would say Nottingham has looked like the better quarterback. He certainly connects on more downfield throws. But for Shaw it always goes back to running the offense.
“This is not about ‘wow’ plays this is not about doing something outside of the system, this is about consistency. This is about executing the plays that are called.”
At the same time, Shaw would not say that Nunes is far ahead of the other quarterbacks in terms of handling the playbook.
“I would have said that (Nunes had a better grasp of offense) in the spring,” Shaw said. “Brett has closed that gap. Hogan has closed that gap. That is how Kevin Hogan got into this competition anyway. Athletic tools he has it all but it was the mental game he was lagging. But he made up ground just like Brett made up ground. Mentally all three are close to being even.”
But it goes back to the “consistency “ Shaw kept applying to the play of Nunes.
Shaw also allowed insight into how he came to the quarterback decision.
“We watch every practice and we evaluate every play in every practice. Then we watch it with the players and go through all the plays with the coaching points, and then every day I go home and watch every play again on my Ipad and I take notes on every single play, every positive and every negative. Once again, looking over the entire training camp, the entire spring ball, this is the decision that I came too. “
Shaw has enjoyed the competition and was glad he was not able to make the decision until the final week of camp.
“It is a very good thing (the decision took so long). If I had to make this decision the first week it would have meant we did not have completion. Brett Nottingham has made huge strides. Kevin Hogan has made huge strides. Just the fact that we have three plus guys, we feel really good about that group the next few years. The fact it took that long is a good thing because it was a battle. “
As for Nunes, he recognizes what his strengths are and what he needs to do at quarterback.
“Being smart, getting us into the right play, minimizing the bad plays. Get the ball to the right people. Orchestrating the offense.”
For Nunes it will not be easy. It would not be easy for anyone to replace Andrew Luck. And given the competition he went through to win the job, he knows there are at least two quarterbacks that will be ready for action if needed. For now though, Stanford is done with the quarterback competition and move forward with game planning for San Jose State on August 31st.
“We have named our starting quarterback,” Shaw said. “It will be Josh Nunes for San Jose State next Friday night and the season.”