The University of La Verne looked to have a quarterback for years to come in Drew Podrebarac, who was sustained a season-ending knee injury in the first game of his freshman season in 2012.
But Podrebarac is no longer in the program according to head coach Chris Krich. Podrebarac decided to move back home to North Carolina.
”He just didn’t have that passion for the game and that’s OK,” Krich said.
Krich said it was better that decision be made now than halfway through practice or even into the season.
The job is now wide open. Candidates include sophomores Gabe Schaper, Landon Martinez and senior Gut Viramontes as well as incoming freshmen Michael Lauck and Brian Duboski.
Schaper, out of Claremont High School,was in the program last year but didn’t play much. Martinez came to La Verne as a quarterback but was moved to wide out because of the depth at quarterback but is moving back to that position.
Viramontes has been a jack-of-all trades for the Leopards but is coming off an ACL injury sustained midway through last season.
Travis Carter replaced the injured Podrebarac last year and performed well. He was a sophomore in eligibility and thought about returning but graduated and got a job in the working world.
Also, Krich said Jeff Magadaleno was been promoted to full-time, giving the staff three full-time coaches. Magadaleno graduated from La Verne, then served as a graduate assistant for a year. He was a walk-on coach last year and will be working with linebackers this season.
The Leopards, 4-5 last season, start practice on Aug. 23 and open the season Sept. 21 at Whitworth (Wash). The first home game will be the following week against Menlo. Krich expects about 130 players for the start of drills next month.
The large group of returning players is led by senior RB Matthew Biggers and senior OL Matthew Shinn.