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Counting Down Oregon State’s Most Important Players for 2022: #1 - Quarterback Chance Nolan

Nolan got the Beavers to a bowl last season. Where will he take them this year?

NCAA Football: Oregon State at Oregon Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

We’re down to the final entry in Building the Dam’s Countdown of Oregon State’s 30 Most Important Football Players in 2022. Right at the top is someone you might expect; the Beavers’ starting quarterback, Chance Nolan.

#1 - Quarterback Chance Nolan

NCAA Football: Stanford at Oregon State Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Key Stats from 2021

  • 2,677 yards passing
  • 19 Passing Touchdowns
  • 204 Completions on 318 Attempts, a 64.2 Completion Percentage
  • 10 Interceptions
  • 286 Rushing Yards on 70 Attempts, a 4.1 Average
  • 3 Rushing Touchdowns

Oregon State is once again having a full camp battle for its starting quarterback job, but this season there should be little drama about who comes out on top. Nolan shepherded the team to its first bowl game since 2013 and while there is room for growth, he should be capable of getting the team back to the postseason.

A lot of that growth should hopefully come in the deep game. Nolan at times struggled to hit downfield targets, but if he can improve his footwork and game sense he should be able to launch deep balls with more accuracy. Nolan and the Beavers also had the tendency to put themselves in an early hole before finding their footing and recovering. More experience could help there.

Nolan will be pushed by six year senior Tristan Gebbia, who also has starting experience, and promising freshman Ben Gulbranson. Gulbranson has been highly touted by the coaching staff, and is considered by many the heir apparent to the starting job. He might not get there this year, but if there’s early struggles, he should get some time on the field. Gebbia, meanwhile, has been limited by injuries, but his experience and leadership has given the coaching staff a lot of faith in him. Gebbia was named a captain once again this season.

So, there will be a lot of pressure on Chance to succeed if he wants to hang on to his job, but he clearly has the skills to do so. He’ll need to do so without his favorite receiving targets from last season, but there is plenty of talent in the Beavers skill groups to put up some big numbers. It should be an exciting battle to watch.

Previously on the countdown