Apr 092009
Authors: Sean Star

Democracy was in full display on campus this week as students elected their next president and vice president for the Associated Students of CSU.

The process was simple. The candidates receiving the most votes won, and barring any unforeseen Penley-like fiasco, Dan Gearhart and Tim Hole will lead student government next fall.

Congratulations, Dan and Tim. (Hopefully you’ll think twice about spending a ton of money for a hip-hop concert.)

The process of choosing who will lead the Rams’ offense next fall, however, is a bit more complicated.

Spring practice — the first of two official campaign seasons — is quickly nearing its end, and the race for the starting quarterback position appears still very much undecided.

One candidate, Alex Kelly, has dropped out (choosing to pursue a career in baseball instead). Another, Klay Kubiak, has been unable to campaign due to an injury. A third, T.J. Borky, has been delegated to other duties (wide receiver). And a fourth, Nico Raineri, has yet to officially enter the race (still in high school).

That, my friends, leaves us with just two candidates. Fitting, considering this country’s love for a two-party contest.

On one ticket is Grant Stucker, once one of the top prep prospects in the state, now a long-time backup looking to crack the starting lineup for the first time as a fifth-year senior (Billy Farris 2.0).

On the other ticket is Jon Eastman, once a missionary in Brazil, now a junior college transfer with only two years of eligibility brought to the Fort with the sole purpose of competing for the starting job right away.

Credentials? Not so much a factor in this race. Eastman and Stucker have a combined 22 career passing yards at the Bowl Subdivision level. To their credit, though, Stucker did run for a touchdown in the Rams’ New Mexico Bowl victory, and Eastman did lead the Snow College Badgers to the JUCO national championship.

Platform? Eastman is noted for having a quick release, as his favorite play is one that includes two hitch routes. Stucker is noted for his athletic ability, as his favorite play is a quarterback draw.

Mud slinging between the candidates has been refreshingly non-existent. (To my knowledge, Stucker has yet to release an ad questioning Eastman’s durability, nor has Eastman ran one pondering Stucker’s potential.)

Instead, each has referred to other as a “good guy.” Stucker has even put in some extra time to help Eastman pick up on the new offense.

But in the end, that mutual admiration won’t really matter.

The final, and only, say goes to The Man — second-year coach Steve Fairchild. And at times during the campaign, he’s been anything but complimentary toward the candidates, threatening them with the possibility that neither will win the position and instead the job could very well go to Raineri, who while Eastman and Stucker have been battling it out on the practice field is busy making plans for his senior prom.

But considering that understanding Fairchild’s pro-style offense is notoriously difficult, the chances of Rainari stepping onto campus next fall as a true freshman and starting against the Buffs in Boulder are remote.

Regardless of how many candidates are running, the race appears it will be decided later rather than sooner.

Last year’s quarterback battle went well into August, and Fairchild has said he expects this year’s competition to unfold very much the same way.

But the people want to know now, or at least I do. And based on a small sample of spring practice, Eastman seems to possess not only a quick release but some leadership qualities too.

No need to fret, though, Stucker. Apparently the Collegian has a history of endorsing the wrong candidate, as it has several times recently for the ASCSU presidency.

May the best candidate win.

Sports columnist Sean Star can be reached at sports@collegian.com.

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