Sep 2, 2010, 4:30 PM EDT
First and 10: Probst Gets Another Shot at Quarterback
By: Matt Swiss, GoRhody.com – Staff Writer
It was early December of last year when the news broke that Hofstra University would be dropping its football program, which left Steve Probst searching for a place to play the game that was temporarily taken away from him.
A mere nine months later, Probst finds himself starting at quarterback for the University of Rhode Island, the same Rhode Island team he torched for 172 total yards (112 – passing; 60 – rushing) in a 28-16 Hofstra victory back in October of last season.
Fortunately for Probst, he has not had to go through this transition alone. Joining the 6 foot, 4 inches signal-caller in Kingston are former Hofstra teammates Billy Morgan and Chris Edmond.
“I feel like I’m home,” Probst said. “Chris and Billy are here with me so that makes it a lot better. It’s been good because we’re all in the same boat. Obviously the whole Hofstra football family was shut down so for two guys to come with you it made the transition a little easier.”
Prior to his arrival in Kingston this past spring, Probst’s only trip to Meade Stadium was during an Oct. 17 game in Kingston when Rhode Island hosted Hofstra. Probst took over for Hofstra quarterback Cory Christopher at the start of the second half and at the time, Rhody was trailing just 7-3.
Probst went on to throw what would prove to be the longest pass of his collegiate career thus far. He launched an 89-yard bomb that put the Pride up 14-3 and left an impression on Rhode Island head coach Joe Trainer to say the least.
“You’re always trying to win coaches over and when they dropped football at Hofstra he was one of the guys we targeted,” Trainer said of Probst. “He was the guy we were going to recruit heavily because we knew he had talent and he was going to be a good quarterback in this league.”
“He looks great. He’s a veteran guy. He’s won games in the conference,” Trainer added. “Nothing really frazzles Steve (Probst) or gets him out of a comfort zone. He has great pocket presence and he’s had a great camp. We’re just very confident with him at the helm.”
When Probst looks down the field, he will see a familiar face in Morgan, who is entering his sophomore season at the wide receiver position. The Pennsylvania native saw significant time last year in just his first season at the college level, playing in all 11 games while racking up 173 yards on just 13 catches.
“When it happened, I didn’t really know what the next move for me was,” Morgan said in reference to Hofstra dropping its football program. “When Rhode Island decided to bring me up here and Probst and Edmond said they both were coming here, I said what better for us to do. I said I got a chance to play here and I got a quarterback who already threw to me.”
Morgan and Probst were key to Hofstra’s five-win season last year and now, thanks to a little luck, both good and bad, the two former Pride teammates will join together once again tonight under the lights in the first day of the college football season, only this time with a different name written across the front of their jerseys, hoping to contribute to a program that, as Morgan puts it, is heading in the right direction.
“I feel like this team is a team on the rise,” he said. “I wanted to be a part of it. I’m excited to be here. I think everybody has got a good head on their shoulders. From what I know there’s been a different mentality around the locker room and I just can’t wait to get on the field and to see how everybody plays with each other.”
“From what I’ve heard, the mindset has changed,” Probst added. “I feel like this team has grown a lot since the spring and I think we’re ready to go. It will be a different year.”
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