In the end, Ryan Finley’s off-field incident had no impact on his standing in Boise State’s quarterback competition.
Sunday afternoon, head coach Bryan Harsin revealed the expected, that Finley is his starting quarterback and will line up under center when BSU opens the 2015 season against former head coach Chris Petersen and his Washington Huskies. Finley had been in a “competition” with redshirt sophomore Tommy Stuart, true freshman Brett Rypien and redshirt freshman Alex Ogle throughout training camp, even as last season’s backup was widely viewed as the front-runner.
Finley wasn’t, though, just handed the job as the coaching staff kept testing the sophomore to see if he’d break. The verdict?
“He’s been unbreakable,” offensive coordinator Eliah Drinkwitz said. “That’s really why we stretched [the competition] out the way we did, because we wanted to make sure that we put the pressure on him. We said, ‘OK, can you handle this? Is this just a one-hit wonder? Can you be consistent?’ Yesterday we gave some reps to some other guys with the first team just to see is it going to rattle him, is it going to shake him. He’s been great.”
As Grant Hedrick’s primary backup in 2014, Finley completed 12-of-27 passes for 161 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. He played in five games.
In late April, Finley was charged with a pair of alcohol-related misdemeanors. In July, Harsin confirmed that Finley (likely) would be eligible to play in the opener.