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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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