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Backup Role No Snap for Ryerson

November 10, 2000

Playing backup quarterback for Cal State Northridge means never having to say "hut-one, hut-two." Not in a game, anyway.

Still, Mitch Ryerson continues to suit up and sit for the Matadors.

On Saturday, Ryerson intends to be in pads but, as usual, probably won't play in a nonconference game against Cal Poly San Luis Obispo at North Campus Stadium. The understudy of Marcus Brady, Ryerson is nearing completion of a three-year career at Northridge in which he has yet to take a snap at quarterback in a game.

But Ryerson is not complaining. And he remains eager.

"It's kind of a [lousy] job," said Ryerson (6 feet 2, 215 pounds), a former starter at Fountain Valley High. "But I understand. I've been here three years and all three years I've been a backup. I could go the whole season and not take a snap. But then, I could be in a game and have to start the next six games."

Brady earned the starting job as a freshman two years ago and has not been challenged. He has taken every snap this season for Northridge (3-6) after taking all but a handful last season.

Thursday, Brady watched the latter half of practice shirtless and with his midsection tightly bandaged--a precautionary measure while nursing a muscle strain. Coach Jeff Kearin said Brady is expected to play against San Luis Obispo.

Ryerson, he said, might still make an appearance--if not Saturday, in the season finale at Portland State.

Kearin said he regrets not inserting Ryerson against Air Force in the season opener, a 55-6 Matador loss.

"I feel sick about that," Kearin said. "I lost track of it. I appreciate the impatience of kids who want to play. The kids work so darn hard."

Ryerson, who passed for 2,180 yards and 24 touchdowns as a senior in high school, has played in a few games on special teams. His jersey typically is spotless after four quarters.

"It's kind of hard, seeing my parents after every game and I haven't gotten in," Ryerson said. "But what is fun is the whole football experience of playing on this team."


Brady is scheduled to return for his senior season. But the next starting quarterback for Northridge figures to be Jermaine Guinyard, a freshman from San Diego Marian Catholic High who is redshirting this season but taking plenty of snaps in practice.

Guinyard (6-1, 181) was a two-year starter for a team that won consecutive section championships in 1998 and '99.

"Right now, I'm just learning from Marcus and trying to do a good job," Guinyard said. "That's pretty much why I came here."

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