With Lyle Negron’s graduation this past year, Stony Brook football coach Chuck Priore has a big decision to make by Aug. 28, when the Seawolves open with a Thursday night prime time matchup against the Bryant Bulldogs.
Will it be the junior Conor Bednarski, a Fullerton College transfer who redshirted last season and learned the system? Or will it be the local Lawrence High School product John Kinder, who will come in as a senior transfer from Syracuse?
When it comes to playing experience, the edge goes to Bednarski. He started for two years at Fullerton College, as well as passing for 1,836 yards and 11 touchdowns as a freshman. In his second season, he passed for 2,453 yards and 25 touchdowns, which was the most of any QB in the Southern California Football Association. He was also second in completions (192) and third in completion percentage (55 percent).
A 2010 graduate of South Pasadena High School and a student of the legendary Ed Smith, Bednarski finished with 3,962 yards and 37 touchdowns in his career. He was also selected all-area three times and to the all-league team his senior year.
Kinder comes in with less-experience on the field, spending three years at Syracuse. Unfortunately for him, Ryan Nassib and Drew Allen were the starters there and Kinder was stuffed in the mix of the depth chart.
Kinder has only three games of experience, playing on Special Teams against USC and Stony Brook in 2012 and lacing his cleats up against Wagner in 2013. That is not what Seawolves fans would like to see, though.
Kinder comes in a local product of Lawrence High School, about 46 miles from where he’ll now dress as a Seawolf. The 2009 NYS Class A Player of the Year, Kinder led the Golden Tornadoes to a 29-9 record in his four years there. He passed for more than 3,000 yards and 22 touchdowns and rushed for more than 2,000 yards and 88 touchdowns in his career.
It would be a dynamic duo in the backfield if he and Marcus Coker, who is scheduled to be healthy before practice officially starts on Aug. 1, were slated to be the opening day starters.
Bednarski also has the jump in that he was able to participate in the Spring Game. He finished the day going 16-for-29, throwing for 183 yards and a touchdown to Jahrie Level.
Level and returning star Adrian Coxson will join Coker as the main pieces of the offense come August. So to whoever Priore picks, there will be weapons and pressure as Stony Brook does not want another 5-7 season. They want to make it back to the Division I FCS tournament, and in a tough conference like the CAA, the QB decision and production will be vital.