Apr 8, 2013 2:10 AM by Bill Halter
The Cal Poly football team opens spring practice on Wednesday morning. The Mustangs will be without Bryan Cook who's been the teams play caller and co-offensive coordinator for four years. Cook is the new quarterbacks coach at Georgia Tech, a team that runs an offense similar to Cal Poly's. "It's a $100,000 pay raise so I'm not going to tell him no, I can tell you that much" said Mustangs Head Coach Tim Walsh.
Saga Tuitele will take over play calling duties for Cal Poly's no-huddle triple-option offense. Tuitele has been co-offensive coordinator with Cook since the two joined the team in 2009 with Walsh. Tuitele is also the offensive line coach. He was in charge of calling plays for the West Point junior varsity team when he and Walsh were assistant coaches with the Black Knights. "There is opportunity to grow any time there's change and I think Saga Tuitelle is more than ready to be the offensive coordinator" said Walsh who coached Tuitelle as an offensive lineman at Portland State.
Juston Wood will move from wide receivers coach to Cook's old position as quarterback's coach and Walsh says they'll try and hire a coach for the wide receivers in May. Walsh says he'll spend more time with the offense after helping out the defense a lot last year in Josh Brown's first year as defensive coordinator. "Last year I spent a lot of time with Josh Brown, this year I'll probably be spending a lot of time with the offense so I think the 35 plus years that I have of experience can help as well."
Three recent transfers will be with the team for spring practice including Dano Graves who spent two seasons (one as a redshirt) at Air Force. The quarterback has three years of eligibility left and has to be considered the front runner for the starting spot left vacant by the graduation of Andre Broadous. Graves was the Max Preps National Player of the Year in 2010 at Folsom High School after throwing for 3,702 yards and 62 touchdowns in his senior season. He also rushed for 994 yards and 23 touchdowns. Graves is listed at 5'9" inches but is a dual threat quarterback that is perfect for the triple option.
Before the addition of Graves a three person battle was expected for the starting quarterback spot between junior Vince Moraga, sophomore Chris Brown and redshirt freshman Tanner Trosin. Trosin played behind Graves in his junior season at Folsom before taking over the quarterback position and winning Max Preps California Division-2 Player of the year as a senior. Walsh says it's still a battle going into spring practice. "Each guys going to get 20-25 snaps a day and it will rotate who goes with the one's and who goes with the two's. So they're all going to get equal opportunity for the first two weeks and then we'll start making some decisions. Dano comes here knowing that it is wide open" said Walsh.
The other two transfers are defensive back Dominique Love who redshirted at New Mexico State last season. Love is the younger brother of Cal Poly basketball player Malik Love. Also new to the team is Austin Albison, a junior transferring in from the College of Sequoias. Albison is one of two tight ends on the Cal Poly roster. Walsh says the team will start incorporating a tight end into the offense on occasion as an added wrinkle.
Cal Poly will play 12 games during the 2013 regular season starting with a home contest against the University of San Diego on August 31. Last year the Mustangs were co-Big Sky champions before losing to Sam Houston State in the FCS playoffs.
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