Palo Alto Weekly

Sports - August 24, 2012

Nunes earns QB start for Stanford football in 2012

Redshirt junior wins top role despite lack of playing time

by PA Weekly Sports Staff

Josh Nunes gets the first chance to follow in Andrew Luck's footsteps. The senior quarterback was named Stanford's starter for the August 31 game against San Jose State.

"Josh has done a great job," Stanford coach David Shaw said. "The guy who is going to play quarterback is the guy who can do it all; managing the running game, managing our protections and getting us into the right play. Josh has done that."

Nunes apparently won the job over Danville native Brett Nottingham. That's something of a surprise given that Nottingham backed up Luck in 2011 and was everyone's favorite when spring practice began five months ago. Nottingham threw for 78 yards and a touchdown in six appearances as Luck's backup in 2011.

Nunes was Luck's backup two years ago, although he's thrown two passes, completing one, over his first three years.

"If I had to make this decision the first week, that would have meant we wouldn't have had competition," Shaw said. "The fact that it took this long was a good thing because it was a battle."

Nunes is the first regular season starting quarterback for Stanford other than Luck since the 2008 season, when Tavita Pritchard was the starter.

Nunes came out of Upland High rated as the 13th-best pro-style quarterback in the nation by Rivals.com. A high school All-American, he threw for over 6,000 yards and 54 touchdowns in three years.

"It feels great,"Nunes said. "This is something I've wanted for a long time, obviously. Being behind Andrew Luck was pretty much the biggest blessing I think you could ever ask for. I learned a lot from him, and I feel like I'm ready to lead this team."

Nottingham appeared in six games last year, throwing for 78 yards on 5-of-8 passing. Also a high school All-American, he competed 502 of 726 passes (.691) for 7,467 yards and 91 touchdowns during his high school career.

When he left Monta Vista High, Nottingham ranked fourth all-time in Northern California prep history in completions, and seventh in yardage. His .691 career completion percentage ranks fifth.

Nottingham has three years of eligibility remaining, while Nunes (6-4, 225) will have one more year remaining after this season.

Nunes completed seven of 10 passes for 49 yards and a touchdown in Stanford's final scrimmage of the season on Sunday.

"The great thing is that the path has been laid in how to be a successful quarterback here at Stanford," Nunes said. "I have to realize, too, that I'm not Andrew Luck. By no means am I trying to be exactly him."

Stanford is preseason ranked 18th in the USA Today Coaches Poll and 21st in the AP Top 25 College Football Poll.

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