Texas State picked up a good one in Gresch Jensen by way of Fullerton College after a stop in Missoula and a prep career in Washington. Welcome to Texas Gresch, it gets hot, but hey, we never shovel snow. Jensen follows his former head coach at Montana, Bob Stitt, to San Marcos. Stitt runs the Bobcat offense under fellow offensive guru Jake Spavital.
Jensen played last season at Fullerton College, a JUCO powerhouse that rose to #2 in the polls, but were stripped of two seasons worth of wins and a 2017 National Title due to an ineligible player. The Hornets were unbeaten in 2017 and 2018 before the authorities got involved. Jensen played with a talented roster, the Hornets sent players all over the college football landscape after signing day, including signings with Texas, Cal, Oregon State, and Colorado State.
We’re going to take a look at a little Gresch Jensen film and see what we can see.
Before we do that, here are some particulars on his production, Jensen finished the year with 2,330 yards passing in ten games. He threw for sixteen touchdowns and five picks. He ran for 289 yards at a 5.6 yards per carry clip with six touchdowns. He completed 58% of his throws on 274 attempts.
The Hornets ran a pace and space offense, lots of quick game, almost entirely out of the shotgun, though in the five or so games I watched they ran out of the I-formation and under center a few times. It must’ve been throwback Saturday.
He completed 60% of his throws for over 2,500 yards and 20 touchdowns in one season under Stitt at Montana. In spite of a 7-4 record, Montana replaced Stitt with favored former coach Bobby Hauck. Hauck brought in an FBS transfer from UNLV who supplanted Jensen as the Griz starter.
My overall impressions are positive. Physically, he’s listed at 6-2, 225, on film there no reason to question his measurables. Aside from his look, Jensen is a gifted passer. He’s got a strong arm, he’s accurate to a point, and he’s a quick decision maker in the pocket - perhaps the most essential trait in Stitt’s offense.
Here’s an example of what Jensen can do with that right arm of his.
This is a variation of a back shoulder throw; you’ll see this type of throw more often when you’ve got a linebacker in man coverage over the middle of the field. You’re banking on the defender not getting his head around in time, and even if he does, not able to react to the velocity. Jensen puts this ball on the money.
If you’re a defender, by the way, play situational football. You’re at the goal line; you aren’t worried about the receiver beating you on a go or nine; if he does he’ll catch the ball at the concession stand. You’ve got ten yards of real estate to defend, and after his release, you know the receiver is either getting a fade or a back shoulder. Either way, get your head around and make this a 50/50 ball.
Here’s Jensen on a designed roll out, throwing on the run.
Fullerton gets a zone look, and they flood that zone to the field side. The Hornets have a trips alignment - you get a flat route, a hitch from the slot and the “z” runs a clear out nine. Jensen throws an accurate ball to the correct read and makes that throw to a location where the receiver can get free after the catch. He’s got a nice easy motion on this throw, keeps the ball in a ready position, and doesn’t let a little pressure move his eyes.
Jensen makes an accurate throw, on the run, and makes the correct read given the coverage.
Here’s an aggressive mistake by Jensen.
His first read is covered, he’s flushed and forces a ball into a bad spot that ends in a pick.
Bill Belichick preaches to his quarterbacks the value of an incompletion. You’ll never get in trouble for an incompletion, but an interception or sack give away the ball or put you behind the chains. Live to play another down and don’t put your offense in a worse position.
Jensen is a willing runner within a system, but he’s not going to break the pocket like a Willie Jones would last season at Texas State. Jensen moves in the pocket to throw. He’s a better athlete than we first thought when he decides to run. In the pocket, however, he’s a bit heavy. His feet aren’t bad; he’s aligned his trunk with his upper torso and generally throws from a good position. Still, he’s heavy footed. Watch old-ass Tom Brady, bounce, almost like a boxer, in the pocket - always ready to stick, move, and adjust.
When I see Jensen, physically, he reminds me of former Washington Huskie quarterback Jake Browning. They carry themselves similarly, have the same build, a little slumped at the shoulder, and their throwing motions are close to one another. If Jensen is anywhere near the player Browning was at Udub that’s a massive win for Spavital.
We aren’t holding our breath on that comp, but Jensen’s track record is one of productivity. He’s played extensively for two seasons, one in the Big Sky, the other in a very competitive JUCO league, and in both instances, he’s put up good numbers, valued the football, and led his team to a winning record.
in our limited look, Jensen never seemed flustered in the pocket, he kept his eyes downfield and the few mistakes generally weren’t out of panic, but instead out of ball placement. In the quick game he consistently gets the ball to his playmakers on the proper shoulder so they can get up field.
Texas State has the added benefit that Jensen knows Stitt’s system and the fact that Stitt and Spav have a system at all. The Everett Withers era was plagued by a lack of offensive identity and a finishing potency. The promised #Partyintheendzone ended up a Zima fueled sausage fest.
Texas State fans deserve some offense and Jensen looks like he’ll help provide it.