It might not happen this year, but Quentin Breshears could kick a game-winning field goal one day. Or he could punt the ball deep into the other team’s territory, granting him high-five’s all around.
One day, he’ll do all that.
He’s just happy that he’s in the right position, now that he’s gearing up for his freshman season as the backup punter/kicker for the Fresno State football team. In July, the Bulldogs, after watching highlights of his senior year at Pitman High and follow-up conversations, invited Breshears to become a preferred walk-on, giving him a roster spot with the privilege of practicing with the Bulldogs. He’s traveling a common path for most kickers, with the hopes of eventually landing a scholarship.
For now, Breshears is soaking it all in. He’s listed on a Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly Division I) roster. He practices with a nationally respected program. He’s learning from starter Kevin Goessling, considered one of the top kickers in the nation. And Breshears is on the same team as Andy Jennings, the 2009 Pitman graduate who is the second-string defensive lineman — granting the two a shared history.
But Breshears doesn’t want to be an observer, though he appreciates his situation. He wants to play.
“By no means, I’m slouching because I’m the backup,” Breshears said. “I’m trying to win a spot.”
Goessling is a senior, meaning the kicker competition next season is wide open. Breshears is going to continue to do the extra work, which really began last summer. He ran twice a day in preparation for the 2010 season for Pitman on top of other preseason demands. His dad noticed.
“He did that extra work that I saw he was serious about this,” Roddy Breshears pointed out. “Starting last summer, when the other kids were going to a friend’s house to go swimming or hanging out, he went to work out. Most kids who play at Division I schools have to do that extra work.”
Quentin Breshears went on to have a standout season at Pitman. He earned all-Central California Conference honors after making 52 of 53 extra-point attempts and 7 of 8 field goals, with his longest at 41 yards. He also averaged 61-yard kickoffs and 36.5-yard punts. The Pride finished 7-3 overall and made another appearance in the playoffs.
“We are obviously proud for any of our players who are able to continue their education in college, which is our ultimate goal for them,” Pitman coach Brandon Harris said, adding that Breshears is Pitman’s first FBS kicker. “The fact he gets to attend college and also play football, it is just awesome.”
Quentin comes from a family of kickers. His older brother, Colin, kicked, and his younger brother, Dominic, was the Turlock High kicker last season. Quentin grew up as a soccer player, but it wasn’t until his freshman year at Pitman that he was introduced to the idea of being a kicker in football.
Then, his junior season came. That was when the right-footed kicker said he got serious about kicking. He later invested in private lessons with Paul Assad of Modesto, who has also coached Oakland Raiders kicker Sebastian Janikowski. The Pride benefitted from Quentin’s extra work.
Harris, the Pitman coach, helped Quentin produce a highlight video to send out early this year. He heard back from schools across the country. More than a handful of FBS programs were interested, with UNLV being the other school to offer preferred walk-on status, Roddy said.
Quentin said the idea of playing at the highest college level is surreal.
“You’re always working toward the goal your whole life,” he said. “You always try to work toward becoming a D-I athlete. But to get here, it’s pretty crazy. It feels good to finally have gotten here.”
And he doesn’t just want to watch.
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