Updated: August 1, 2011 at 12:00 am
Connor Dietz is excited about next season, but not thinking much about it.
Dietz has a great chance to start as Air Force’s quarterback next season as a fifth-year senior in 2012, after recently applying for a ninth semester at the academy because an injury his sophomore year affected his academics. He could provide a great bridge from senior starter Tim Jefferson to whomever takes over in 2013, if Dietz can win the job.
“It’s a big opportunity for me,” Dietz said. “That being said, I’m not looking there yet.”
Dietz has been a solid backup to Jefferson for two seasons, and he understands the importance of that role.
“I want to be ready to go, and put in all the hard work over the offseason to get to where I need to be for the benefit of the team,” Dietz said.
TJ looks for 1,000
Jefferson said he hopes this is the year he reaches 1,000 yards rushing. That’s has been an annual goal of his, and one of the few individual milestones he hasn’t reached as Falcons quarterback.
To hit that goal, Jefferson dropped a little weight. He said he is about 202 pounds, after being at about 205 last year. He said he is stronger, hopefully more explosive and perhaps can break more tackles.
“I stayed as strong as I was, I didn’t lose any muscle mass, so I’m going to be a little more forceful running the ball,” Jefferson said.
Center Jeffrey Benson, who passed 2010 starting center Michael Hester for the top spot on the depth chart at center during spring, has a knee injury and will miss two-to-four weeks. Hester moved back into his familiar role as first-team center for Monday’s practice.