College Canvass

Denham gets the call at Davis

Placer grad named Aggies’ starting quarterback after a strong spring camp
By: Todd Mordhorst Journal Sports Editor
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Greg Denham’s always been armed with… a great arm. His arsenal now includes a talented, experienced team around him and the confidence of a coach who’s seen more than a few great quarterbacks in his time. The 2006 Placer High graduate will start behind center for UC Davis when the Aggies open their season on Aug. 30 at San Jose State. “We don’t really make an official announcement, but he’s the starter going in,” UC Davis head coach Bob Biggs said. “He’s shown to be the most consistent throwing the ball, with his accuracy and his demeanor. His leadership and his ability to handle the pressure — he’s done very well there. He’s quiet by nature, but he’s got a real passion and a fire in him.” Denham was the third-string QB last fall behind seniors Matt Engle and Tim Plough. An impressive spring camp landed him the starting job ahead of sophomore Daniel Alfaro and freshman Sean Maraz. Denham, who red-shirted the 2006 season, took nearly every snap with the first-team offense and threw a pair of touchdown passes in the Aggies’ spring scrimmage on May 10. “In spring ball I really gained confidence,” Denham said. “In the previous years I was usually limited to taking snaps with the scout offense and the second team. This spring I was blessed to take all the snaps with the first group. I got a lot of confidence making reads, managing the game and just being a leader out there.” A veteran group of playmakers that includes receivers Brandon Rice and Chris Carter will make things easier for Denham, who saw very little playing time last season. Freshman running back Brandon Tucker returns after earning all-Great West Conference honors last year along with Rice. Tight end Luke McDonough is also a key returner. “We got a lot of experience last year and we’ll be much better for it this year,” Biggs said. “Greg is really the only player on the offense that’s untested. But he doesn’t have to be a guy that everything rests on his shoulders.” Denham is busy cramming for finals these days. He has a tough upper division economics final looming next week. After his studies are complete for the year, he’ll take a short break before returning to Davis to work out with teammates in preparation for fall camp, which opens Aug. 6. While the anticipation for the coming season is enormous, Denham is quick to assume the attitude that helped him get to where he’s at in the first place. “It’s such a blessing to play with the first team, but I know I’ve got a lot more hard work to do,” Denham said. “I know the offense so much better now than I did when I started, but there’s so much more to learn.”