6'3, 225, Jr.
2012: 88-for-177 (49.7%), 1,059 yards, 5 TD, 7 INT, 9 sacks (5.2 yards/attempt); 44 carries, 143 yards (3.3 per carry), 3 TD
Bill C.: I've found myself making this reference a few times recently, but I'll make it one more time, just for good measure. A lot of times, a AAA baseball player gets sent up to the majors a little bit too soon, out of either necessity or simply too much of a hurry. If he's not quite ready for the majors, the version of him you see is one of a player not wholly formed, one whose bad habits creep up more and more as he gets overwhelmed.
Safe to say, Corbin Berkstresser was sent to the majors a bit too early in 2012 thanks to James Franklin's injury. He proved himself a fighter, playing perhaps his best ball of the season in the season's final minutes (the second half against Texas A&M), but his bad habits sabotaged his efforts rather frequently -- his footwork abandoned him under pressure, his decision making was sometimes frayed, etc.
The Berkstresser of 2012 probably isn't the Berkstresser of 2014. The question is, does that matter? Maty Mauk was already passing him in 2013 when he was lost for the season with a knee injury in practice, and now Mauk is the assumed starter for the foreseeable future. Berkstresser held off Eddie Printz for the No. 2 spot in the spring, however, and as we've learned over the last two years, the No. 2 guy is never far from seeing the field. If Berkstresser has indeed improved and become a steadier, more mature force behind center, he might yet get a chance to prove it. But that probably means Maty Mauk is hurt. So ... I guess ... a) I wish you luck, Corbin Berkstresser, and I hope that if your number is called, you thrive; and b) I hope your number isn't called.
The Beef: I am sure I will say this again during these Walkthroughs, but Corbin Berkstresser is someone for whom I will cheer loudly at his Senior Day, if only because he ends up being a good soldier who sticks it out until the end of his eligibility. Needless to say, if we see much of Corbin outside of the fourth quarter of games, it may signal doom for the Tigers.
Not to pin that potential doom only on Corbin, as it would be unfair to do so ... again. Corbin was thrust into a bad spot two years ago and did what he could. Last year, JF and Mauk held down the fort while Corbin dealt with some injuries as well. This season, it will be interesting to see where Corbin and our next QB land on the depth chart. Here’s hoping Corbin gets some time against South Dakota State ... and ... well ... probably no other game.
countrycal: I see Corbin as the Number Two quarterback this year. As The Beef mentioned, his entry into, and performance during, the difficult 2012 season were under some of the worse possible circumstances one can imagine for a freshman. Now, as a junior, I think he will get more than just a look this year, but will be given the chance to fill Maty’s 2013 role of coming in at predetermined times for a change of pace and to give added experience. The change-of-pace aspects could be quite important, since it would certainly be such, and would stretch the defense as they adjust to a totally different type of quarterback.
I think the kid showed enough during his freshman year to warrant a long look as the backup this year – and I think he will be up to it, serving opponents notice that he can throw and move much like Blaine Gabbert when given the chance.
switzy227: I have been hard on Corbin in the past, perhaps unfairly. Suffice to say that he’s been a great Tiger representative, even if his play on the field was marred by circumstance and timing. He deserves much credit for sticking with the program, and for his efforts in the black and gold.
wooderson: berserk tribe scorns