Bryan Harsin is in his sixth year as a member of the Bronco football staff, after serving as tight ends coach from 2002-05 and as a graduate assistant in 2001. Harsin, who is serving as both the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach this season, is one of only two offensive coordinators in the country under the age of 30.
Starting at quarterback for the third-consecutive season is senior Jared Zabransky (6-2, 203). The Hermiston,
In 2004 Zabransky was named honorable mention All-America by Sports Illustrated and Western Athletic Conference Player of the Year by Collegefootballnews.com. Based on what he has seen this preseason, Harsin believes Zabransky will show the same poise he has in past years as the signal caller for the Broncos.
“I expect just what Zabransky did this (last) scrimmage (Aug. 18) -- make good decisions and hang onto the football -- which he did,” Harsin said. “I expect him to throw the ball, and when its not there to pull it down; find that check-down and run it; get us yards but hang onto the ball -- exactly what he did in the scrimmage. His throws weren’t there, and he ran, got us good plays and made big plays with his legs. Just going out there, managing the game and making good decisions.”
Battling to back-up Zabransky are Taylor Tharp (6-2, 210), Bush Hamdan (6-1, 196), Nick Lomax (6-6, 220), and Mike Coughlin (6-5, 215).
Tharp, a junior, played in eight games last year for the Broncos. The
Hamdan, a sophomore from
“Bush Hamdan has really stepped up this fall,” Harsin said. “I’ve been very impressed with him. He’s really starting to figure out the system now and understanding where he needs to go with the ball; what the defense is giving him and taking it.”
Lomax, a four-year letterwinner at
“Nick Lomax has done the same thing (as Hamdan) with limited opportunities,” Harsin said. “I think he’s really stepped up and made the most of his opportunities.”
The newcomer to the Bronco quarterback staff is Coughlin, a true freshman from
“Mike Coughlin has had very little reps, but I think that for the future, he is going to be very, very good,” Harsin said. “He’s very much into it. He’s a smart kid and a physical talent out there on the field. He has a strong, strong arm...and he’s a leader on the field. I think he makes good decisions. I am excited about him.”
Although Zabransky is the only one of the group with significant experience, Harsin likes what he sees at quarterback, both for now and in the future.
“All those guys are just getting better and better,” Harsin said. “If they keep going in that direction then were going to be just fine.”