When Keller Chryst, the 4-star recruit out of Palo Alto High School, committed to Stanford, Cardinal fans rejoiced at the prospect of another top pro-style quarterback on The Farm. Chryst, much like Andrew Luck before him, redshirted his freshman year. People were disappointed, but they understood – plus there was Kevin Hogan who had proven that, for the most part, he could efficiently lead the team.
But then Hogan decided to stay for a fifth year, and fans begun to wonder if they would ever see much of Chryst, the wunderkind QB. Even prior to the beginning of the 2015 campaign, head coach David Shaw made it clear he would stick with Hogan, but that the backup position was up for grabs. So, the question became: who would win the battle, Chryst or the junior from Virginia, Ryan Burns.
It would appear Chryst has won the backup job, which bodes well for the 2016 season and Stanford’s continued success. Especially when you consider the Chryst family football tree that now spans three generations. From Do-Hyoung Park of Stanford Daily, the Chryst family knows a thing or two about the game:
His grandfather, George Chryst, was the patriarch of Chryst males’ involvement in football as a profession, as he served for 30 years as the athletic director and head football coach starting in 1979 at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. Following George’s lead, football essentially became the family business for the Chryst clan.
George’s three sons — Geep, Paul and Rick — have all been involved in football for their entire lives, with all three playing collegiate football before parting ways and all taking on prominent roles within both the NFL and the NCAA. Geep, Keller’s father, is the current quarterbacks coach for the San Francisco 49ers after having earned various coaching positions all around the league, while Paul is the head coach at the University of Pittsburgh and Rick served as commissioner of the Mid-American Conference until 2009.
For the third generation Chryst, it will be all about transferring his talent and pedigree onto on-field success. So far, we have seen the backup QB in two games this year; throwing for 59 yards and a touchdown to Rollins Stallworth in the waning minutes of Stanford’s 55-17 routing of Arizona.
— Stanford Football (@StanfordFball) October 4, 2015
That 6-yard pass marked the first career touchdown for both the sophomore QB and the fifth-year wide receiver. While everyone marveled at Chryst’s ability to throw the ball in high school and in his few momentary minutes on the Farm, he surprised and quite frankly shocked fans at the Arizona game with his ability to throw a serious block for his running back, fellow sophomore Christian McCaffrey.
Shaw commented on Chryst’s blocking ability during the post game presser.
“He’s a good football player – he’s a tough kid and he loves plays like that,” said Shaw. “He’s one of those guys that at some point we will teach him how to slide but he doesn’t want to slide. He’s a big, physical athlete that loves the game and has a chance to be very good.”
McCaffrey was also pretty pleased with his quarterback’s blocking skills.
— Emily Van Buskirk (@Emilnem) October 5, 2015
Tremendous passing ability aside, hard hits are another thing that Luck and Chryst have in common – remember Luck’s 2010 hit on USC’s Shareece Wright? Yeah, Shareece Wright doesn’t remember it either.
No one is saying that Keller Chryst will be the next Andrew Luck, but the common abilities do speak volumes to the possibility and if anything, provide reassurance that the future of Stanford’s offense is in very capable and at times lethal, hands.
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Sports writer. Avid fan, former player, once-upon-a-time coach, reluctant referee. I do digital media things with my friends. I also jinx kickers. Bay Area born & raised.