Transfer quarterback eyes starting spot in La Salle Prep's lineup
Junior quarterback Ryan Rosumny is eager to play varsity football this season, and that's is one of the big reasons he decided to transfer to La Salle Prep after the 2018-19 school year.
At Union High School in Vancouver, Washington, Rosumny was the sophomore backup to senior Lincoln Victor last fall.
When Victor graduated after leading the Titans to their first state championship and left for the University of Hawaii, Rosumny thought he was next in line to take over as Union's starting quarterback as a junior.
Then Caleb "C.J." Jordan transferred into the district from Clackamas.
Jordan is touted as one of the Northwest's top college prospects in the Class of 2020 and is said to have received scholarship offers from 15 schools, including Portland State, Idaho, Louisville, Nevada, New Mexico, San Jose State, and half of the schools in the Ivy League.
Jordan rose to prominence as a sophomore at Jefferson High School in Northeast Portland, then transferred to Clackamas where he spent his junior season as part of a contentious two-quarterback system that threatened to tear the program apart.
Faced with the possibility of having to split playing time again, Jordan found his way to Union, stepping on Rosumny's toes in the process.
Rosumny could have stood his ground, stayed at Union as junior and challenged Jordan for playing time, but quickly realized that might not be a battle worth fighting.
"Everyone around me started jumping ship and joining C.J.'s hype train," Rosumny said. "I just wanted out."
Rosumny chose the private school route and transferred to La Salle Prep where he rekindled his relationship with Falcons head coach Aaron Hazel, who Rosumny had worked with at some of the AirOne Football Academy camps that used to be held up at Lewis & Clark College.
"It was really tough leaving Union because I've grown up there since I was a kid, so all my friends are over there and my home is a three-minute walk from Union, compared to 35-minute drive to get to La Salle," Rosumny said. "So, it was definitely a tough decision, but it was made easier by the people here at La Salle accepting me, so I feel good about it."
La Salle graduated quarterback Ethan Edgerly off last season's 6-4 playoff team and had penciled in junior-to-be William Rakoz as the 2019 projected starter.
Then Rosumny joined the program in late-May and took the majority of snaps this summer with La Salle Prep's 7-on-7 team.
Hazel said Rakoz and a couple of other QB prospects still have an opportunity to win the starting job when preseason camp opens next week. But it looks as if Rosumny, the 6-foot-1, 170-pounder, has the inside track on being the Falcons' starter for the Sept. 6 season opener at Del Norte, California.
"Ryan has been playing the position for a long time and he sees the field really well, and that's probably what I think his biggest strength is," Hazel said. "He's a three-sport athlete — football, basketball, and track — and he runs the 100. His times aren't blazing, but they aren't slow, either.
"He wants to play quarterback and throw the ball around. And you can tell he really relishes in other people's success. We had to talk to our receivers at team camp about, 'You all have to run your routes hard because he will get you the ball.'"
Rosumny is likely to make plays with his right arm than he is with his legs, but he's working on being more a dual-threat.
"I like to pick apart defenses," he said. "I might not have the strongest arm out there, but I like to throw underneath until the defense sucks up and then take shots over the top. I feel like I'm pretty smart when it comes to that.
"I won't force too much and I'm not a high-interception guy. I want to make smart decisions and do what's best for where we're at on the field."
Again, Rosumny still has to prove himself in preseason camp and earn the starting position, but he insists he is ready for the challenge.
"I've been ready for the last year," Rosumny said. "Obviously, I didn't get that much playing time last season, but I've put on about 30 pounds since then and I'm feeling ready.
"As far as our offense, when we have all of our guys out here, I like where we're at. Our receivers and our tight end are playing well, we have a lot of depth at running back, and our offensive line is starting to come together, too. So, I'm excited about the offense."
The Falcons return a couple of the Northwest Oregon Conference's most dynamic playmakers in senior JaJuan Lane, a first-team, all-league running back last season, and junior James Menor, who was named to the all-league second team as a running back, a cornerback, and a return specialist.
Others returnees who earned all-league recognition last season include senior lineman Carson Redmond (first-team defense), senior lineman Zach Quinones (first-team offense), senior linebacker Ryan Bjorvik (second-team defense), sophomore linebacker Brody Crowley (honorable mention defense), and sophomore wide receiver/return specialist Riley Peterson (honorable mention special teams).
Across the front, La Salle is counting on sophomore Elijah Stockett, who anchored the junior varsity offensive line last season, to take over as the starting center, with junior William Griffiths and Quinones at the two guard spots, Jonah Hayes at left tackle, and a question mark at right tackle.
Among the prospects to play right tackle are juniors Michael Drenner and Toby Schram, sophomore Remy Winant, and two seniors who are joining the football program for the first time — Lucas Moyer and Jacob Sparks.
On the defensive sidel, the Falcons have some holes to fill in the secondary where they lost both starting safeties and one starting cornerback to graduation.
"We've got Riley Peterson who played a lot as a freshman coming back and is the guy with the most experience," Hazel said. "The other guys in the mix back there just don't have the experience. They're good athletes and they're playing hard and working hard back there, but that's a big question mark for us."
Hazel expects to have between 55 to 60 players on the field for the opening of preseason camp.
"We still have a few kids who are on the fence, having just come off 40 games of summer basketball or 50 games of summer baseball and they're trying to decide if they want to get back into something," he said. "So, we'll see."
The Falcons hope to have most of their lineup questions answered in time for the Aug. 28 Red-Blue scrimmage at the high school and the Aug. 30 jamboree at Gladstone's Dick Baker Stadium.
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