In the summer of 2012, Fresno State had just joined the Mountain West Conference and Tim DeRuyter was about to begin his first season as the Bulldogs’ football coach.
He already knew he had a very talented quarterback: junior Derek Carr.
On July 18th, 2012, Carr was named to the watch list for the Davey O’Brien Award. That award is given annually to the nation’s best college quarterback.
Carr was coming off a sophomore season in 2011 where he passed for more than 3,500 yards with 26 touchdowns. A second team all-WAC player, he was also just the fifth quarterback in Fresno State history to pass for 3,000 yards in a season.