Roste gets his shot at QB
Alexandria’s Jaran Roste saw this opportunity coming and wanted to do the things necessary to prepare for it.
As a sophomore taking over as the quarterback for the Cardinals’ football team, he knew he couldn’t just rely on fall camp to get ready.
Roste took the advice of his predecessor at the position, John Vogeler, and went to a camp at the University of Michigan this past summer. He added a camp at Southwest Minnesota State in Marshall.
When he was home, he met up with his receivers to throw balls and try to gain a connection with the guys he’ll be relying on to help him out this season.
“It’s just getting comfortable with them and learning how they’re going to break on their routes and stuff and just being able to get more reps in the offseason so I’d be ready for the season,” Roste said after a practice last Wednesday morning. “Obviously, it takes some time but the receivers I had, Joe [Gorghuber], Kris Setterstrom, Travis Krueger – I’ve got good connections with them in playing sports with them and throwing in the off-season.”
His teammates and coaches are doing what they can to help him ease into the position. Roste praised the seniors on the team and said they have been great about not applying too much pressure. Their message to him has been to simply go out and play to the best of his abilities. That’s his primary goal this season.
Gorghuber is one of those seniors who knows what it’s like to be a sophomore playing on the varsity level. He’ll play both safety and receiver this season and said he and his classmates need to be there for Roste to help him succeed.
“Just try to instill some more confidence into him,” Gorghuber said of advice he has given. “One of the biggest positions in football is the quarterback position and him being a sophomore, it’s a pretty important role. We just want to keep reminding him that he has all these senior captains and really the whole team behind him and we trust him fully.”
Roste already looks the part of a quarterback at the varsity level. He stands 6’2” and weighs 195 pounds. He has a strong arm and speed that can keep defenses honest with his ability to run the ball.
Head coach Mike Empting said the tools to succeed are all there. Now it’s just a matter of getting comfortable at that position on the varsity level.
“Usually you look to your quarterback to be the leader on the offensive side and that might be something he grows into,” Empting said. “I think at first, our offense, in particular our seniors, are going to have to rally around him. I expect Jaran to grow into that leadership role, but I don’t know if it will happen right out of the gate. He’s a good athlete and he’s got the skills to play the position, for sure. I think leadership will come.”
The Cardinals are entering year two of their spread offense that is designed to let their athletes get out in space and use their natural ability to make plays. It’s an offense that usually puts a lot of responsibility on the quarterback to make reads and then determine what to do with the ball.
Empting said the coaches will start the season by taking away some of those responsibilities to help ease him into the role.
“We’re going to take a lot of reads out of his hands and just make it called right away,” Empting said. “Again, that might be something he grows into as we go along and as he gets more comfortable with what we’re doing offensively. For the time being, those option-type things I think will be decided ahead of time.”
Roste’s goal is to show the coaches that he can handle more of those options as the season progresses.
“At the quarterback position it’s about knowing everything,” Roste said. “Who’s doing what? At the beginning, it will be nice to take some of the responsibilities off me, but by the end of the season my goal is to just take on more responsibility and be able to know where to go with the ball and call audibles. Just watching what the defense does and being able to react to what they’re doing.”
Roste knows that getting to that point might be a process. He also understands the big picture and how invaluable getting this opportunity as a sophomore could be in his growth as the starting quarterback for the Cardinals.
“Of course the next two years, I’m looking forward to getting comfortable with the offense,” Roste said. “I think it’s going to come along really well if we just keep with this [offense].”