University of Charleston football coach Pat Kirkland hasn’t shied away from playing two quarterbacks in the past. That won’t change this season.
With the graduation of quarterback Mason Olszewski, the Golden Eagles are looking at a pair of signal-callers to guide the team when it opens its 2019 season at UC Stadium against Fairmont State. When Charleston faces the Falcons at 7 p.m. Thursday, Kirkland said both Brant Grisel and Guy Myers will see action.
“[Grisel has] always been a great player physically and throwing the ball,” Kirkland said. “Mentally, he’s now getting it. Guy Myers has established himself as the second head of the snake. Both can play and I’ve got confidence in them.”
Grisel will be the first quarterback to take the field, Kirkland said, but Myers will get his chances. Grisel gets the starting nod to start the year, in part, because of his experience in the Charleston offensive scheme. A graduate student, this is his fifth year with the program.
He’s also shown he can perform on the field. Against West Virginia Wesleyan last season, he completed 24 of 42 passes for 285 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. Overall, he completed 30 of 57 passes for 417 yards, two scores and two picks.
This will be Myers’ first year of game action for Charleston after transferring from Northeastern Oklahoma A&M, a junior college in Miami, Oklahoma. In splitting time with other quarterbacks there, he threw for 1,329 yards, 12 touchdowns and seven interceptions last season while rushing for 469 yards and seven more scores.
“He can make all the throws,” Kirkland said of Myers. “He probably has the strongest arm since I’ve been here that we’ve seen. There’s not a throw out there he can’t make. That’s exciting, so you’ve got to defend the whole field.”
The situation at UC could be compared to the Golden Eagles’ playoff season of 2015, where Olszewski and Jeremy Johnson started out splitting time at quarterback. Eventually, though, Johnson emerged as the full-time starter.
Kirkland said that could happen this season, but that will have to bear out on the field. One thing he does know is that both quarterbacks have a full complement of receivers to throw to, more than UC quarterbacks have enjoyed in previous seasons.
“The thing about Brant is that Brant is tough to take the ball away from when he’s hot,” Kirkland said. “And when he’s on point, now more than ever, we have just a better receiving corps. This is the first time we’ve got four wideouts, five wideouts really, who aren’t little guys. They’re big, tall, physical targets and we’ve become much more of a team that can throw the ball effectively and consistently.
“Brant’s a little more of a game manager, where we give him a little more freedom pre-snap,” Kirkland added, “but Guy’s getting there and he’s really close to turning that corner.”
So the Falcons must prepare for both players when the two teams square off on Thursday. How the snaps will be divided hasn’t been decided, but Kirkland said both quarterbacks will take the field at some point.
“You’re definitely going to see two,” he said. “It could be two snaps or three series, but you’re definitely going to see them.”