The quarterback competition seems to have been figured out, but don’t tell that to Alex Niznak.
When Niznak arrived at Central Michigan in the summer of 2011, he was expected to eventually land the starting quarterback job.
And after manning the sidelines during his redshirt freshman season, he is now No. 2 on the depth chart behind Cody Kater. For him, it’s a complicated situation.
“I’m not OK with being the No. 2 in the sense that I’m not going to change my approach,” Niznak said Tuesday after practice. “I don’t wake up in the morning and say ‘Alex Niznak is the No. 2 quarterback.’ I understand now that I’m one play away from being the starter, but at the same time I didn’t come here to be a backup.”
Niznak continues to work with the second team and got several reps in during Saturday’s intrasquad scrimmage.
His work ethic hasn’t slowed down, either. While others returned to the locker room Tuesday after practice, Niznak stayed an extra 10-15 minutes to continue throwing passes.
Head coach Dan Enos has been mum on plans for Niznak, but hasn’t ruled out playing him Saturday against Michigan.
“I don’t know what the game plan is as far as that,” Niznak said. “I’m going to be ready whenever my number is called, if that’ll be this Saturday, the second play of the game, or if I get in at all. We haven’t talked about that.”
Until then, Niznak continues to stay ready. Kater holds the edge with experience, but Niznak isn’t far behind.
He’s immersed himself in the playbook the last two years, even volunteering last season to signal play calls from the sideline. He likely won’t be doing that again this season, but he realizes he is only one play away from being called to lead the offense.
“I have three years of eligibility left, so there’s a lot of football left ahead of me,” Niznak said. “Thirteen games from now, I don’t know what the story will be, but I’ll be ready to play. It’s not going to be a question of, ‘Can I get ready?’ It’s going to be a question of, ‘Can I maintain being ready?’ I’m ready right now, and we’ll see what happens.”
And his thoughts on Kater starting this Saturday at the Big House?
“I have confidence in Cody, he’s my teammate,” Niznak said. “But as quarterbacks, it’s our job to be ready. I think more than anything, I have confidence in this team.”