College Football

Junior college QB signs with Hawks, will enroll in January

Justus Spillner played in six games last fall at Sierra (Calif.) College, completing 63.5 percent of his passes for 448 yards with seven touchdowns and four interceptions. He played in the first two games of the season before a high ankle sprain sidelined him for six weeks. | Photo Courtesy of Sierra College
By Herald-Whig
Posted: Dec. 25, 2017 12:01 am Updated: Dec. 26, 2017 8:00 am

QUINCY -- Justus Spillner had never heard of Quincy University when quarterbacks coach Sam Fisk called him to talk about recruiting.

Thirty minutes into the conversation, Spillner received an offer to play for the NCAA Division II football program.

"I was freaking out," the junior college quarterback said.

He didn't commit initially and chose to make an official visit. Once on campus, Spillner knew he couldn't pass up this opportunity.

After committing in early December, Spillner signed his national letter of intent last week and will enroll at QU in January. It gives the Sierra College product a chance to learn the Hawks' offense during the spring and head into the fall fully prepared to challenge for the starting spot.

"Obviously there's going to be some competition," the 6-foot-5, 225-pound Spillner said. "The coaches really wanted me to enroll in January and get up to speed. They want competition."

Fisk held nothing back in discussing the position or the program.

"They laid everything on the table," Spillner said.

It proved to be the best fit.

"I was getting looks from small schools here and there," said Spillner, who grew up in Grass Valley, Calif. "I grew up in a small town myself. Coming here for my official visit, it was a like a big small town."

Spillner believes he can thrive in QU's offense because of his versatility.

"I can do what a dual-threat quarterback can do," he said. "(Sierra coach Ben) Noonan helped me learn the spread and understand defenses. I feel I can step in and run any offense."

Spillner played in six games last fall, completing 63.5 percent of his passes for 448 yards with seven touchdowns and four interceptions. He played in the first two games of the season before a high ankle sprain sidelined him for six weeks. He didn't start again until the season finale against American River College in which he completed 19 of 25 passes for 214 yards and three touchdowns.

"I'm excited to show what I can do when I'm fully healthy," Spillner said. "And I'm fully healthy. I'm ready to come in and get to work."

The Hawks are coming off a 3-8 season in which they only averaged 15.6 points per game and were held to less than 200 yards of total offense in three games.

Sophomore quarterback Andrew Rund, who started all 11 games but completed just 55 percent of his passes for 1,288 yards with six touchdowns and four interceptions, will return. Redshirt freshman Trip Gibson and true freshman Trey Mosley also saw time in multiple games.