Despite a strong summer of workouts and practices, former Lynden quarterback Josh Kraght didn’t get the starting QB job for the Portland State football team – at least not for Week 1 against Brigham Young (noon Aug. 26, ESPN).
Vikings coach Bruce Barnum Friday announced that he will give the keys to the offense to Jalani Eason, a true freshman from Gardena, California, who is similar in build to Kraght at 5-foot-11, 185 pounds, and offers a run-pass style similar to that of Kraght.
“Jalani’s production, poise, mobility and playmaking ability have all been there throughout camp,” Barnum told goviks.com.
Kraght, a senior, will still play a crucial dual role for the Vikings, as in addition to being Eason’s backup, he’s also expected to be the team’s starting slot receiver – a role he switched to for the 2015 and ’16 seasons after playing five games behind center as a red-shirt freshman.
Last year he led PSU in receptions with 36 for 518 yards and one touchdown. In his career he has accounted for 1,822 yards and eight total touchdowns passing, rushing, receiving and returning punts.
Kraght was considered the front runner for the starting quarterback job through most of summer workouts and preseason practices. In a scrimage Wednesday, he completed 5 of 8 passes for 163 yards, two touchdowns and an interception, while Eason connected on 7 of 16 passes for 126 yards and a pair of TDs. Freshman Davis Alexander also was in the competition to be starter and hit 2 of 9 passes for 40 yards.
“The thing about that position is they are all athletes, so whoever becomes No. 2, you will probably see him playing somewhere else,” Barnum told goviks.com after the scrimage. “I have 63 scholarships. I’m not going to waste one of my best athletes holding a clipboard and telling me what down it is.”