This is the eighth, and final, in a series of position group previews throughout Sacramento State training camp. To view all stories about the Hornets, select the "News" button at the top of the page.
SACRAMENTO STATE'S COLLEGE FOOTBALL KICKOFF IS COMING SOON
Get your 2019 college football season started the right way at Sacramento State's College Football Kickoff on Saturday, Aug. 24, at Hornet Stadium from 6-9 p.m.. The free, family-friendly event, will feature tailgate games, football drills, opportunities for pictures and autographs with Sacramento State coaches and players, and performances from the marching band, cheer and dance teams.
One of the biggest additions to the 2019 Sacramento State program may have come from within the team. Quarterback Kevin Thomson was granted a nearly unheard of two additional seasons of eligibility by the NCAA meaning the two-year starter will return for his second junior season this fall.
In his two years under center, Thomson has already moved into 12th place in school history with 3,208 career passing yards despite playing in only 15 games. The Auburn, Wash., native is also the career leader at Sacramento State with an efficiency of 162.5 and an average of 10.03 yards per pass attempt. He is also fourth at 213.9 yards per game, 11th with 25 career touchdowns and 17th in both career attempts (320) and completions (176).
One big difference for Thomson from his first season to last year was his drop in rushing yards. During his breakout season in 2017, he rushed for 494 yards and scored nine touchdowns on 79 attempts. Last season, Thomson cut his rushing attempts to just 51 carries and finished with only 134 yards without finding the end zone.
A pair of returners (Tristan Meyer and Roman Ale) have the most experience among the reserves. Meyer competed in three games last season as a redshirt freshman. Ale played in four games, including three starts, in 2017 before missing all of last season. In his time on the field two years ago, Ale completed 31-of-57 passes for 491 yards and five touchdowns with only one interception.
The newest member to the unit is Jake Dunniway. The transfer will have three seasons of eligibility remaining after spending the 2017 as a redshirt at UC Davis and then starring at San Diego Mesa JC in 2018. While at Mesa, Dunniway earned first team all-National Central League honors after throwing for 2,888 yards and 27 touchdowns while completing 61.5 percent of his passes. A Northern California native, Dunniway prepped at St. Mary's HS in Stockton, Calif., where he helped guide the Rams to the Sac-Joaquin Section Div. I title as a senior. That year, he threw for 4,066 yards and 46 touchdowns and was named the team MVP by The Stockton Record.
Frank Gamberdella is a true freshman from Santa Barbara HS where he was a three-time all-Chennel Football League selection. As a junior, threw for 2,879 yards and 24 touchdowns and only five interceptions. That season he had five games with over 300 passing yards, including a 446-yard effort against Buena HS.
Kevin Thomson (15 career starts, 176 career completions, 320 career attempts, 55.0 career completion percentage, 3,208, career passing yards, 25 career passing touchdowns, 4 career interceptions, 628 career rushing yards, 9 career rushing TDs)
Roman Ale (6-1, 200, Jr., Carson, Calif./Narbonne HS)
Tristan Meyer (6-0, 190, So., La Mirada, Calif./La Mirada HS)
Kevin Thomson (6-0, 200, Jr., Auburn, Wash./UNLV)
Jake Dunniway (6-1, 210, So., Tracy, Calif./San Diego Mesa JC)
Frank Gamberdella (6-1, 165, Fr., Santa Barbara, Calif./Santa Barbara HS)