After an incredible 11-1 regular season in 2012, crucial pieces leaving and a coaching change got Kent State from where they were then to being last in the MAC East just last season. Spencer Keith was the senior quarterback for the '12 team that ended the MAC Championship game in a double overtime loss to Northern Illinois, and finding a new quarterback with Paul Haynes as the new head coach coming into 2013 was a hot topic.
Colin Reardon, sitting through the 2012 season his first year on campus, completed 75 percent of his passes against Liberty in their season opener the next year. Looks like Haynes found his quarterback in the true freshman.
After a strong first year as the starting quarterback with 12 touchdowns and nine interceptions, it was pretty brutal to see that followed up with him throwing 14 touchdowns and 16 interceptions in his sophomore season. Though, with a banged up Traiyon Durham, now without NFL Draftee Dri Archer, and really only Casey Pierce and Chris Humphrey to work with, it's going to be hard for anybody taking snaps.
Sometimes things get too tough and you throw the ball into the turf. But hey, you know where it counts? Beating your rival school.
Reardon ended his sophomore season with 2,466 passing yards (second-most in school history for a single season), connecting on 57 percent of his 400 pass attempts. The bulk of his 16 interceptions were on the road: three at both Ohio State and Virginia, then four times against Bowling Green in November (he also had three touchdowns, completing 65 percent of his passes in this game). During the '13 season, Reardon went on a streak of 104 pass attempts without a pick, so it's not like he's an inaccurate quarterback for having more picks than touchdowns last year.
All of this early playing time could greatly benefit Reardon for the Kent State record books, should he continue to be the starter for the next two seasons. He's already fourth in Flashes history with 414 completions, tied with Todd Goebbel with 25 touchdowns for sixth in school history, as well as sixth with 4,423 passing yards and 4,907 total yards.
It'll be an interesting year to watch Reardon develop through this junior year. The Poland, Ohio native is going to have more weapons to work with, including perhaps the second coming of Archer, which adds to the optimism surrounding Reardon. The defense should be improving with talent, so if pieces around Reardon can work out in his favor in 2015, we could see him much higher up on this list next year.