Stephanie Storm

KENT: Joining a new team and trying to unseat the current quarterback is nothing new for David Fisher. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t come with a little uneasiness each time it’s happened.


Everywhere Fisher, a California native, has played — Vista High School, the University of Nevada, Palomar Community College and now Kent State — he’s always had the unenviable task of being the new guy coming in to take over for, or at least light a fire under, the incumbent.


Fisher, 21, arrived on the Kent State campus not long after becoming the first member of the Golden Flashes’ 2012 recruiting class in December. But the first day of spring practice still held a few pinch-me moments.


“I definitely had a little bit of the jitters,” Fisher said Tuesday after the first practice. “I didn’t know what to expect. It was kind of a mystery to me. There was a little bit of a feeling-out process, but I loved being back out on the field throwing the ball around.”


Fisher’s arrival could have made for an uneasy situation as he competes against three-year starter Spencer Keith, but they have already settled into a friendly competition.


“Whenever they bring somebody in, it means there’s going to be good competition,” Keith said. “So I just had my mind set on that and working hard in the offseason on my strength and speed.


“Now, I’m just embracing the competition. You gotta have fun with it, because it’s just a game on the field. It’s football and we love to play this game. So we’re just going to play and try to take advantage of our opportunities. But once we’re in the film room or off he field, we’re friends just like everyone else.”


That’s exactly the way second-year coach Darrell Hazell hoped the newly created competition would play out.


“Ah, competition,” he said. “There’s nothing like it to have those two battle it out. Today, Spence ran a majority of the ones [first team], but then Fish got in some time with the ones as well. It was a good day for both of those guys. They had command of the offense and I thought they threw it accurately.”


Keith has benefited from a year in the system, so Fisher has some ground to make up, even with this year’s pared-down version of last season’s more complex scheme.


“I think it’ll take him the whole spring, the summer and part of the fall,” Hazell said. “But he’s learning, they’re all learning.”


For Fisher, going from junior college to a four-year university has been a big transition. Not only in understanding new terminology, but also in the actual style of play. For a majority of his career, Fisher has been a shotgun-formation passer. Kent State’s offense utilizes a lot of quarterback play under center.


What Fisher lacks in experience, he helps makes up for with a likeable personality.


“He’s got great leadership qualities,” Hazell said. “Even though he doesn’t know what he’s doing yet, he acts like he knows what he’s doing. He fakes it pretty well.”


One thing he’s not faking is his relationship with Keith and how it has put him at ease.


“Spence is a great guy, I like him a lot,” Fisher said. “You can’t knock him because he’s a good kid. He’s been fun to be around and we’ve been really helping each other out.”


Brian Rock, the Flashes’ offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, appreciates the two quarterbacks handling the situation so well.


“There’s no entitlement around here because nobody’s bigger than the program,” Rock said. “We’re trying to win football games and put ourselves in a situation to compete for championships, so there’s no room for a sense of entitlement out of anybody.”


Stephanie Storm can be reached at sstorm@thebeaconjournal.com. Read the Flashes blog at https://ohio.com/blogs/kent-state. Follow her on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/SStormABJ and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sports.abj.