Knoch's Bruggeman ready for move to QB
Dakota Bruggeman has always wanted to lead the Knoch offense under center, the next play in his hands and his every move an integral part of the team's advancement of the football.
This fall, he'll finally get his chance.
The 6-foot-5, 205-pound senior will move from wide receiver to quarterback in Knoch's spread-option offense, the scheme that propelled the Knights (12-1) to a community-backed thrill ride to Heinz Field last season and a WPIAL Class AAA runner-up finish.
“I have a ton of confidence in throwing the ball.” Bruggeman said. “I am always working on my passing. I have been ready to play quarterback since my freshman year. I was willing to put aside (and do) what was best for the team. It turned out, the best for the team was going to Heinz Field.”
Bruggeman started at quarterback on junior varsity and freshman teams, but at the varsity level played behind standout Ky Kenyon, who ran the offense with precision.
There were instances, however, when Bruggeman threw to Kenyon when the Knights resorted to trickery.
Bruggeman was 3 for 6 for 38 yards and a touchdown last season.
He enjoyed those moments, but they were rare. Knoch fans have been wondering for a couple of years what Bruggeman could do with more touches.
He thinks he can excel. But maybe more importantly, help produce victories in the Greater Allegheny Conference.
“Personally, I'd rather get the team wins than the personal goals,” said Bruggeman, who has 4.6-second speed in the 40-yard dash. “Unless you're Terrelle Pryor, colleges aren't going to look at you if you're not winning. And I'm not Terrelle Pryor.
“I remember getting my first call from a college coach. It hit me that the rewards can come, but just because they call doesn't mean I'm going anywhere. And without my teammates, I am nothing.”
Bruggeman could be the A-K Valley's top Division I college prospect in 2012.
His first scholarship offer will likely come from the Mid-American Conference, where Bruggeman fits a prototype as a quarterback or receiver.
“A lot of schools are very interested,” he said. “They want to see more film and maybe offer by midseason.”
Towson, Kent State, Eastern Michigan, Kent State and Akron have shown interest in Bruggeman, who also played cornerback last season.
Knoch coach Mike King, who recently became the school's athletic director, believes patience will be the key for Bruggeman's recruiting.
“I think what happens is that schools from the MAC want film early in the season,” King said. “With college recruiting any more, it's a ripple effect. You get a wave of commitments, and then it kind of ripples down the ranks. The MAC cleans up whoever Ohio State or the Big Ten didn't take. Then, it's the D-2s. It's a shakedown that takes place based on what the big boys do.”
King thinks Bruggeman can handle the fast-lane offense, which often went no-huddle and put up 36.6 points per game.
“Last year we had guys who could run and catch.” King said. “If we can find someone like that on the perimeter, we'll be fine staying with the spread and working out of the (shot gun.)”
Bill Beckner Jr. is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-224-2696 or firstname.lastname@example.org.