The Cal Poly football team must replace graduating senior quarterback Dano Graves before the start of next season, and the Mustangs will have a new player joining the fray at that position when fall camp opens in July.
Head coach Tim Walsh announced Wednesday that quarterback Daniel Prieto of San Diego State plans to transfer to Cal Poly and will be eligible to play in 2017. The 6-foot, 174-pound Prieto used a redshirt last fall as a preferred walk-on with the Aztecs.
Prieto brings some college experience to the Mustangs, having thrown for 1,514 yards and 15 touchdowns as a freshman at El Camino-Compton Center in 2015. The left-handed quarterback was intercepted three times that season.
“We had him at camp two summers ago and we liked him then,” Walsh said in a news release. “We’re excited to have him become a Mustang.”
The Mustangs, who finished 7-5 overall last season and qualified for the FCS playoffs for the first time since 2012, are expected to return three quarterbacks.
Junior-to-be Khaleel Jenkins and redshirt freshmen Michael Austin and Jake Jeffrey will likely be competing for the starting job when spring camp opens April 8.
Cal Poly also signed prep quarterbacks Conor Bruce and Kyle Reid on National Signing Day in February as part of a class the coaching staff called, “one of the best groups we’ve ever recruited.”
Jenkins has played in seven career games as a Mustang, completing 3 of 17 passes for 59 yards and rushing 19 times for 99 yards and one touchdown.
Prieto has three years of eligibility remaining and brings a Division I pedigree to the program.
He originally committed to play at Oregon State in the spring of 2016 after his lone season at El Camino-Compton Center, but the Newbury Park High School graduate will stay closer to home at Cal Poly.
As a senior at Newbury Park, Prieto passed for 3,687 yards and 47 touchdowns against five interceptions. He also rushed 63 times for 259 yards and one touchdown in leading Newbury Park to an El Camino League Championship and a second-place finish in the CIF-Southern Section Northern Division playoffs.
For his individual effort, Prieto was named Los Angeles Daily News’ 2014 Offensive Player of the Year, All-Ventura County, Ventura County Coaches Back of the Year and MVP of the El Camino League.