Matt Faulkner, a 6-foot-2, 205-pound quarterback from Mt. San Antonio College (Cali.) made a commitment to play for Fresno State coming out of high school, and despite having some other D1 opportunities he transferred to Mt. SAC after things did not work out for him with the Bulldogs.
Faulkner, who played his high school ball at Flower Mound Marcus High (Texas) has not yet generated an abundance of d1 college opportunities despite the fact he passed for 3,307 yards and 29 touchdowns and led Mt. SAC to the National Title in ’09.
Still Faulkner believes that he made the right decision and was ecstatic to be involved with the MT. SAC team and be a huge part of the title run.
“Words can not even describe it,” Faulkner said when asked about winning the title. “It is exactly what I needed to do, especially for not playing in three years since high school. It was really what I needed to do and it was by far the best college of choice and that is why I went there.”
“I loved the system. It was what I did in high school, except we had a more powerful running game, and that helps. We had a lot of diversity in our offense and that made it a lot of fun.”
“God did a lot of great things, because it took me a while at Fresno to develop some community and have some fellowship and a good relationship with the guys on my team. And in just a short six months (at Mt. SAC) I just made so many great friends and I already miss playing with them a lot. They were an awesome team and it was so much fun playing with them. It could not have been scripted any better.”
Faulkner holds recent offers from McNeese State and Western Kentucky, and there are a number of schools like Temple, Mississippi State, Oklahoma, Notre Dame, and Cincinnati that are keeping him in mind.
All of the D1 schools will either be looking for him to come in and provide immediate depth and push for the starting job or come in to be a competent back-up. And Faulkner would relish the opportunity to come in at any school and compete.
Faulkner believes that his accuracy could give him the chance to come in and be a solid contributor at the D1 level.
“My passes are really accurate, especially the shorter passes,” Faulkner informed. “I have been told I put the ball in a place that it needs to be. Accuracy beats coverages, especially in college and the NFL. There are a lot of quarterbacks who can throw the ball 80 yards, but they can not put the ball where it needs to be. So accuracy is my biggest strength. I need to work on my arm strength some more and getting more power on the long ball and fit balls in tighter holes and put a little more zip on it.”
“As a leader I really think that the players trust me back there. I think that comes with honesty and dedication and hard work. I think that it helps that the guys know that you care. I try not to let what other people think control me at all or affect my confidence.”
The most recent school to inquire about Faulkner is Oklahoma, who called his father to request film and transcripts in December.
The Sooners are in hot pursuit of top rated JuCo talent Cameron Newton, but are looking to some back-up plans if he opts for Mississippi State or Auburn when he announces his final decision on 12-31.
Faulkner knows that the interest from OU may never even go beyond the initial inquiry, but he is still ecstatic that a national power has him in mind.
“That is great, because even a call from a coach like Coach (Josh) Heupel to another school and putting in a word for me would just go a long way itself. That is a blessing to have a school like that (call).”
“Even just saying Oklahoma is just great to say and it great to have that recognition from a school of the talents that I have been given.
Heupel actually has a longer history with Faulkner, as the Sooners were down to scout him when he played in high school, but Faulkner says he did not impress the OU coach liked he had hoped he would.
“He (Heupel) came to see my in high school and it was the game after I had suffered a concussion. He did not even know I had a concussion, so he probably just thought I sucked. I had two touchdowns but in the fourth quarter I had three interceptions. To be honest I should not have played the game after a concussion, but I had been waiting on a rivalry game in Texas Stadium all year and there was no way I was going to pass it up.”
Because of his ability to come in and provide a steady presence and accurate passes Faulkner will certainly be a name to monitor closely as schools start to miss out on the QB prospects they are waiting on to commit.
Faulkner was named National Division Offensive Player of the Year by CCCFA after his impressive ’09 performance.
He will have two years to play two wherever he signs.