Posted: Sep 02, 2019
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — Cal Poly redshirt freshman quarterback Jalen Hamler, who produced 317 yards of total offense and accounted for five touchdowns in Saturday's 52-34 season-opening win over San Diego, has been named ROOT SPORTS Big Sky Conference Offensive Player of the Week.
In his first game in a Mustang uniform, Hamler completed his first six passes, including three for touchdowns, and had thrown for 211 yards in the first 28 minutes of the contest In addition, he rushed for 96 yards, including two more scores.
He finished the game 8-for-11 for 221 yards and three scores in the passing department, averaging 27.6 yards per completion, and accumulated his 96 rushing yards on 17 carries, averaging 5.6 yards per trip.
Today, Hamler is No. 1 in the Big Sky in passing efficiency (331.5 rating), No. 2 in points responsible for (30) and No. 3 in total offense (317 yards per game).
Hamler also was named Big Sky offensive player of the week by College Sports Madness and was an honorable mention for National Freshman Player of the Week by STATS FCS as well as for National Player of the Week by College Football Performance Awards.
Portland State senior rover Romeo Gunt (career-high 15 tackles) was named Big Sky Defensive Player of the Week, and Northern Arizona senior kicker Luis Aguilar (field goals of 48, 21 and 46 yards, seven touchbacks on eight kickoffs) earned Special Teams honors.
On Saturday, Hamler connected with J.J. Koski on 55- and 23-yard touchdown passes and Quentin Harrison on a 60-yarder. The Lawndale High School graduate also ran three and 38 yards for scores.
Of his eight completions in the game, four were for 23 or more yards. Cal Poly produced nine plays of 20 or more yards in the game, including an 87-yard touchdown run by Duy Tran-Sampson.
Hamler battled junior Jake Jeffrey and sophomore Kyle Reid in Fall Camp for the starting nod. Tim Walsh, in his 11th season at Cal Poly, announced at the end of camp that Hamler had won the battle.
"Jalen got it largely because dynamically he did some good things in camp," Walsh said. "Jalen did some things we thought gave himself the opportunity to be the guy. His learning curve of the offense went way up in the last three weeks.
"Jalen understands it is his opportunity to take it, run with it and make something of it for himself," Walsh added.
Hamler was a redshirt last fall after passing for 4,372 yards and 49 touchdowns with just six interceptions in 342 attempts and rushing for 1,437 yards and 21 more scores in his varsity career at Lawndale High School.
Cal Poly plays its next three games on the road, beginning Saturday with a non-conference contest at Big Sky member Weber State. The Mustangs also visit Oregon State of the Pac-12 on Sept. 14 and, after a bye, opens Big Sky play at Southern Utah on Sept. 28.
Photo of Jalen Hamler courtesy of Owen Main | www.fansmanship.com