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Senior College Football Columnist

The Breakdown: Why San Jose State's David Fales' stock is rising

David Fales led the nation in completion percentage at 72.5 percent. (USATSI)
David Fales led the nation in completion percentage at 72.5 percent. (USATSI)

A buzz is already building in NFL Draft circles about San Jose State QB David Fales. The former JC transfer had a big debut season in 2012, leading the nation in completion percentage at 72.5 percent. Fales also had a 33-9 TD-INT ratio and led the Spartans to an 11-2 record. That was three more wins than the school had in the previous three seasons combined.

In an era of "five-star recruits" and quarterbacks working with private coaches since before the QBs were teens, Fales' rise to stardom is fascinating. Asked who they had to beat to land Fales, former Spartans coach Mike MacIntyre said with a chuckle, "Indiana State."

MacIntyre, now the head coach at Colorado, said he's not surprised NFL personnel people would be intrigued by Fales.

"If you actually sit down and watch him, you wouldn't be surprised," he said. "You'd see how he can move in the pocket, be accurate and take a lick and not flinch.

"He's also a bright kid with no ego," the coach added. "He's like a kid in a candy store being out at practice. The games never fazed him. He's just as calm as can be. And to me, that's really critical. If he threw a pick, it didn't bother him. While everybody is a storm, he's calm."

Fales is 6 feet 2, MacIntyre said. He weighs around 225. "He's not 6-4, but he is thick and durable, and he can keep his head downfield and be accurate, and that's what they (the NFL) want. They want a guy that can be really accurate."

The 48-year-old coach knows plenty about what the NFL looks for in a quarterback. MacIntyre, spent five seasons as an NFL defensive backs coach, and worked under Bill Parcells.

Fales' experience bodes well, too. The Salinas, Calif., native began his career at Nevada, but never saw any game action. In 2009, he transferred to Monterey Peninsula College, where he spent two seasons and threw for 37 TDs before the Spartans staff noticed him.

"That's one of Bill Parcells' things: 'How many starts does a quarterback have? How many throws does he have in live action?' David will have four full years of it," said MacIntyre.

The quarterback Fales reminds MacIntyre of is Tony Romo, a three-time Pro Bowler, who the coach was around for four seasons while working with the Dallas Cowboys. Both Romo and Fales have a great ability to change their release and make different throws and can stay alive in the pocket, explained MacIntyre.

"Whatever David has to do to get the ball off into windows, he can do it. And not everybody can do that. A lot of guys can go out and throw in pass skel or one-on-ones and look really good. But then if you put a rush on them and they have to sidestep and their feet just can't be right and they have to make accurate throws, they can't do that. David can. That's what separates him. He can make those accurate throws without a perfect pocket. He's not a scrambler but he can stay alive and make great throws."

 
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