Random Athlete Of The Day- Jared Zabransky
All college football fans know of Boise State’s Kellen Moore, but most don’t remember good ol’ Jared Zabransky. Quarterback Jared Zabransky was born into a farming family in Hermiston, Oregon. He played football, basketball, and baseball at Hermiston High, but it was football that took him to Boise State.
In 2002 during the Ryan Dinwiddie Era at BSU, Zabransky strategically redshirted. The next season he was still a backup for Dinwiddie, but in his little playing time he went 11-23 with 180 yards and one touchdown. In 2004 Zabransky took over, and led the Broncos to an 11-1 record while throwing nearly 3,000 yards and 16 touchdowns. The next season as a Junior Zabransky struggled with 18 touchdowns and 16 interceptions. The Broncos went 9-4 with the shaky QB, but have no fear, in his final season he bounced back. In 2006 (expected to rebound) Zabransky was named to the Maxwell Watch List, and did not disappoint with a 66CMP%, 23 touchdowns and only 8 picks. The Broncos went on for a perfect 12-0 record (the help of Ian Johnson didn’t hurt), and got a free vacation to the 2007 Fiesta Bowl where Zabransky made a name for himself (not only by claiming he could throw a potato 100 yards) and Boise State.
Zabransky faced a solid Oklahoma team led by Adrian Peterson and a tough defense. Boise was up 21-10 in the first half, thanks to 2 TD passes from Zabransky. Boise was in command until Oklahoma scored 25 unanswered points in the second half and took the lead with 1:02 left (Zabransky threw a pick-6 to put Oklahoma up). Zabransky then led them down the field, and with 7 seconds left helped perform one of the boldest calls in bowl history, “the hook-and-ladder”. On 4th down, Zabransky passed it 15 yards to Drisan James who then lateralled it to Jerard Rabb who took it in for a 35-yard touchdown to tie up the game. In OT Boise State would score a TD out of the wildcat offense, and then win it all on a risky “Statue of Liberty” two-point conversion performed by Zabransky and Ian Johnson. It is known as one of the best bowl games in history.
Zabranksy was named MVP of the game completing 19 out of his 29 passes for 262 yards and 3 touchdowns.
Unfortunately Zabransky went undrafted in the 2007 NFL Draft, but was signed by the Houston Texans (only to be released three months later). In 2008 Z signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers, but was released later that year.
Like every great random athlete Zabransky moved to the CFL, and played for the Edmonton Eskimos as the third string QB. In 2010 as the backup QB, Big Z was 53-104 for 609 yards and 4 touchdowns and 10 picks.
Kellen Moore was unbelievable, but he simply gets too much credit for putting Boise State on the map. Without Dinwiddie, Zabransky, and Ian Johnson Boise would not have been what it is.