WALTHAM, Mass. – Junior Danny Guadagnoli (Framingham/Framingham HS) has been selected by Bentley University head football coach Thom Boerman as the Falcons' starting quarterback after a tight battle with senior Luke Zahradka (Franklin Square, N.Y./H.F. Carey HS) throughout the spring and preseason camp.
"Danny and Luke have been battling to replace Bryant Johnson since the day the season ended last year," said Boerman. "They have both worked hard, participated in off-season work-outs and until today, have been neck-and-neck in competition for the starting QB spot. I decided to go with Danny based on his ability to move the ball with more consistency in practice these past few weeks.
"They each have different strengths. Luke is a big strong kid who has a very strong arm and can throw the ball a country mile. Danny is more mobile and has better accuracy in the shorter pass game. He is a runner," Boerman continued.
Neither player has a lot of college experience as Johnson, the only quarterback Boerman started during his first three seasons, took most of the snaps over the last three seasons. Guadagnoli, who prepped at Phillips Exeter after a standout career at Framingham, red-shirted in 2010 and threw for 78 yards last fall. Most of his action came in the second half at Merrimack when Johnson was knocked out of the game.
The 6'5" Zahradka appeared in one game for the Falcons in 2009 and completed four of seven passes last year, including a 30-yard scoring pass against Saint Anselm.
"It was a very difficult decision based on the fact they have both sat for the past several years waiting for their opportunity to lead this offense," said Boerman. "Luke did nothing to lose the job, rather Danny did a little more to convince me he should be the starter. I have every expectation that Luke will get his share of playing time this season and feel pretty confident that if he gets the call, he will be ready to get the job done."
Bentley has a solid crop of young quarterbacks behind Guadagnoli and Zahradka, including freshman Matt Montaldo (West Yarmouth/Dennis-Yarmouth Reg. HS), who has looked good so far in camp after earning MVP honors in the Shrine game. Matt McDermott (Merrimac/Central Catholic HS) and Tommy Munro (Norwood/Norwood HS)), also freshmen, have been impressive as well, and sophomore returnee Drew Lloyd (Cary, N.C./Green Hope HS) rounds out a very solid group of QBs.
Bentley opens its 2012 season next Friday night with a home Northeast-10 Conference encounter with Pace University (7 pm).