On Aug. 19, just nine days prior to the Seawolves home opener against Bryant, senior transfer John Kinder, was named the starting quarterback. However, that was just the beginning of the Seawolves four-week-long quarterback competition.
In the weeks leading up to the announcement, Stony Brook Head Coach Chuck Priore enamored a three quarterback system where he would give Kinder, junior Conor Bednarski and sophomore Carlos Hernandez snaps during non-conference play for an opportunity to win the starting role for the conference schedule.
As the summer progressed, it was evident that Hernandez would be relegated to the role of being a holder on special teams.
Despite Kinder receiving the starting nod on Aug. 19, it seemed as though there was some sort of asterisk on the depth chart in the nine days leading up to the game against Bryant for several reasons.
The biggest reason was the small amount of time he had to learn the team’s offense. After spending the 2013 season as a redshirt, Bednarski had ample time to learn Priore’s offense and build chemistry with the team.
Kinder, however, only joined the Seawolves in June, a few months before the decision was made.
Although Kinder was a star in his high school days at Lawrence and was recruited to Football Bowl Subdivision Syracuse, he had spent most of his time on special teams and in practice as a wide receiver.
Priore’s justification for awarding Kinder with job was based largely on his athleticism.
His ability to escape pressure and make plays outside the pocket was an attractive option for a team starting two freshmen and a transfer on the offensive line.
After a 13-7 home opener loss against Bryant, where Kinder completed only 7 of 18 passes, confidence in Priore’s decision began to falter.
Down 19-10 against FBS UConn, Priore relinquished the pride he had in his stumbling starter and brought in Bednarski.
After alternating plays for several downs, Bednarski won the job, even if only for a quarter.
He made the most of the opportunity, completing a 88 yard drive with the Seawolves lone offensive touchdown on a 14 yard pass to tight end Will Tye.
Although Bednarski impressed against UConn, Priore insisted after the game that nothing had changed. Both quarterbacks would still have the opportunity to play for the remainder of non-conference play.
Stony Brook’s next game came against Division II American International on a rainy, cold Saturday where neither Kinder nor Bednarski were given much of an opportunity to throw the ball.
Possibly the most impact-filled event on the competition was an injury to emerging sophomore running back Stacey Bedell.
En route to his two touchdowns Bedell did enough damage to keep him out of the final non-conference game against University of North Dakota.
Whoever would be under center against UND would shoulder much of the offensive work without Bedell and backup running back Marcus Coker struggling.
Maybe the three total points against or the interception returned 92 yards for a touchdown are leaving fans with doubts, but Kinder had his best game of the season Saturday night. Completing 12 of 18 passes for 172 yards, Kinder established himself as the Seawolves quarterback.
Bednarski did attempt one pass. However, the attempt was incomplete.
Priore has yet to make an official announcement on how he will use the two quarterbacks during conference play.
It seems though that the bulk if not all of the snaps will go, as they did against UND, to Kinder. With conference play greeting the Seawolves, it is time for one quarterback to step up.