Fresno State redshirt freshman quarterback Kilton Anderson tries to evade a Utah State defender during his team’s 56-14 loss to the Aggies at Bulldog Stadium. (Darlene Wendels/The Collegian)
Redshirt freshman Kilton Anderson, once a fourth-string quarterback on the Fresno State depth chart, is now the starter for a Division I program in the midst of its conference schedule.
Going into this year’s football season, questions still remained regarding who would be the starting quarterback in Week 1. No one thought that would still be a problem come Week 7, nor did anyone know the team would go through four different quarterbacks to answer it.
Sophomore Zack Greenlee has been one of the starters for the beginning half of the season but has struggled through the first six games. In his four career starts, he has completed only 46.8 percent of his passes for 301 yards, four touchdowns and one interception.
Looking for a change in hopes of getting better play from the quarterback position – that would possibly spark the team and end the current losing streak – the coaching staff decided it was time for change at the helm of the offense.
In Monday’s weekly press conference, head coach Tim DeRuyter said Anderson will be the team’s starting quarterback going forward.
“I expect him to respond in a way that any starting quarterback would,” DeRuyter said. “I think he has that excitement now with having played a whole game. He’s learning from his mistakes, and I think he’ll learn from those. We know he’ll make some mistakes moving forward – you don’t just magically change from Game 1 to Game 2 – but I do think he’ll improve, and I think he’ll do a much better job of leading our offense.”
Anderson was told Saturday morning that he would get his first collegiate start that night against Utah State. That start did not go the way the coaches or Anderson anticipated as he finished his night with 112 yards on 10-for-20 passing, with one touchdown and three interceptions.
“It was exciting being back out there. It was definitely a thrill,” Anderson said. “It definitely wasn’t the outcome we wanted as a team or as myself. We’ve just got to move past it and go 1-0.”
Anderson starred at Naples High School in Naples, Florida, where he was the star of his team. He led the Golden Eagles to the regional championship. The only problem was Anderson and his parents felt he did not fit that system and that the system did not maximize his potential.
Anderson wanted to be somewhere he could show off his arm and not his feet. Looking for the best opportunity to do that, Anderson moved to Seattle where he attended Skyline High School for one season. In that one season, Anderson led Skyline to a 9-2 record and a berth in the 2013 Washington 4A playoffs and the King County championship. He was selected to the 2013 King County All-Conference Team that season.
Following his first collegiate start Saturday night against the Aggies, he will look to continue to grow as he gets his first full week of practice as the starting quarterback for the ‘Dogs. He will face a UNLV team that ranks sixth in the Mountain West in scoring defense (26.8 points per game) and ninth in total defense (421.5 yards per game).
“1-0 every week. We’ve got to win the game,” Anderson said. “Any way we can get it done is the way we’re going to get it done. We just gotta find the end zone and keep fighting.”