Quarterback Brandon Wesley ’14 has become a staple of the football program since his arrival to Lewisburg in the fall of 2010. After just three seasons, he is either at or near the top of many Orange and Blue all-time career statistics lists, including pass completions (first place with 461), passing yards (second with 4,926), and total offense (second with 5,401 yards.)
But the number that is most remarkable, and makes all of the other statistics possible, is 32. That is the number of consecutive games that Wesley has started at quarterback for the Bison leading into the 2013 season.
It is no secret that football is an unforgiving sport that sees more than its fair share of injuries. Although they do not get hit nearly as often as other players, quarterbacks are regularly on the wrong end of crushing tackles. But Wesley has managed to stay healthy through three grueling seasons by making the right decisions.
“I attribute my consecutive start streak to my ability to play smart and knowing when to give in and take what the defense gives me,” Wesley said.
Weighing in at 195 pounds, he also knows that he is one of the lightest guys on the field on any given play, which doesn’t work in his favor when it comes to preventing injuries.
“I’m relatively light compared to a lot of guys out there on the field,” Wesley said. “I’m reminded of this before every game when Coach [Joe] Susan comes up to me and says, ‘Good luck, skinny.’ He usually says it in a joking way, but there is a lot of truth to it.”
It is also important to note that Wesley has such a long streak because he started the final 10 games of his first-year campaign. During that season he put up very impressive numbers. He finished 68 for 1,699 total yards. These statistics helped Wesley to five Patriot League Rookie of the Week awards on his way to becoming the Patriot League Rookie of the Year.
Although there have certainly been some bumps in the road, he has ultimately benefited from being thrust into the starting role at such an early stage in his career.
“Being a starter since my freshmen year gives me a lot of confidence going into this season, knowing that I have a complete understanding of the offense and what the coaches expect from me,” Wesley said.
One particular game at Lafayette from two years ago stands out in his mind not because of his individual performance, but because of the daunting weather conditions surrounding a great team win.
“During that day I saw the most snow I had ever seen in my life. I couldn’t believe we were even attempting to play that game,” Wesley said. “I remember asking people, ‘Are you sure they are going to make us play in this?’ Fortunately, we ended up winning the game despite me not being able the feel my fingers and toes. I couldn’t have imagined coming out of there with a loss.”
Wesley knows that despite his strong performances in the early years of his career, he will need to put together a strong senior campaign if he wants to become a truly accomplished quarterback, and he has a clear idea of how he wants to step up his game.
“One of my personal goals this season is to become a better student of the game and focus on the small details that will help improve my game,” Wesley said. “Coach Susan always tells us to strive for perfection and the only way to be perfect is to do the little things right.”
Wesley and the rest of the Bison will certainly be looking to perfect the minor details of their game as they head into their third game of the season this weekend against Sacred Heart, after a win over Marist and a loss to Cornell earlier this year. The Orange and Blue will be sure to rely on the experience of their veteran quarterback to help guide them to victory.