A year ago quarterback Conor Blount was playing for Oregon State and now he’s suiting up to start the season opener for the Eastern Kentucky University football team on Thursday night against Valporasio.
The Wisconsin native announced he would be transferring in the spring and was quickly in contact with head coach Mark Elder and new offensive coordinator Adam Austin.
“There were somethings that were up in the air that I didn’t necessarily feel comfortable with (at Oregon State) and I think after talking with my family about the move (to EKU) that was best for me and my family as well was to come back closer,” Blount said.
It was a battle between Redshirt junior Austin Scott, Redshirt sophomore Dakota Allen, Redshirt freshman Parker McKinney and Blount for the job.
Elder announced on Monday that Blount will be the starter.
“It was a very tight race,” Elder said. “We’ve got four guys on our roster that have started Division I football games so there was a battle throughout camp. Conor was the most consistent guy that gave us success on offense. He’s not the only guy we feel confident putting into the game in meaningful times, but Conor is our starting quarterback.”
Blount’s goal coming into EKU was to win the starting quarterback position.
“I’m excited to get to work with these guys,” Blount said.
Blount said consistency give him the advantage in the competition against the other quarterbacks.
“Going through it was obsessively a great time,” he said. “Talented guys and a great group of guys.”
Blount is coming from a Pacific-12 Conference program that faced high level competition like Ohio State a year ago. Blount started six of the first seven games of the season, played in nine games for the Beavers and completed 62 percent of his passes with just two interceptions. He tossed seven touchdown passes and 1,117 yards. The transfer quarterback was 12-for-19 for 169 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions at No. 5 Ohio State in the season opener last year.
He said he’s been asked a lot about his time at Oregon State and especially playing against top-10 teams like Ohio State.
“It was a great experience not just to go out and play but to go out and do something like move the ball against those guys,” he said. “That’s football at its best. They had guys last year drafted in the first round and they’re going to have the same thing this year so to be able to experience that and to go up against that and see what it’s like is huge.”
Eastern Kentucky kicks off the 2019 season on Thursday against Valparaiso. Kick off is set for 7:30 p.m.