Transfer quarterback making a big impact with the Wildcats

Billy Green winds up for the throw in the first quarter of the Wildcats' home-opening loss to North Dakota State. Green passed for 240 yards on the night.  (Lichelle Jenkins/ The Signpost)
Billy Green winds up for the throw in the first quarter of the Wildcats’ home-opening loss to North Dakota State. Green passed for 240 yards on the night.
(Lichelle Jenkins/ The Signpost)

Last season, the Weber State football team finished the year with a 2-10 record, led by freshman quarterback Austin Chipoletti, who completed 172 of 309 passes for 1,650 yards, eight touchdowns and nine interceptions. When Chipoletti transferred over the summer to University of Alabama, Birmingham, the Wildcats were suddenly left with a hole at quarterback.

Enter former BYU quarterback Billy Green. Coming out of Kings High School in Washington, Green was heavily recruited by several major college football programs, including Notre Dame, Oregon State, UCLA and Utah before finally committing to BYU. After appearing in only one game his freshman year with the Cougars, Green transferred to Weber State over the summer.

“When I was in the transferring process I talked to some people who had told me about Weber,” Green said. “I fell in love with the place right away.”

The decision to transfer to Weber State was made easier for Green, as the Wildcats’ coaching staff included some familiar people.

“(Associate head coach Brent Myers) recruited me out of high school at UNLV and then (assistant coach Jason Kaufusi) was at BYU when I was there,” Green said. “So there were a few familiar faces up here as well.”

WSU quarterback Billy Green threw for 273 yards against Stephen F. Austin, as he surpassed 1,000 yards passing on the year.  (Photo by Hardy Meredith)
WSU quarterback Billy Green threw for 273 yards against Stephen F. Austin, as he surpassed 1,000 yards passing on the year. Green has established himself as a leader for the offense.
(Photo by Hardy Meredith)

In just four games with the Wildcats, Green is already making a large impact on the team. So far this season, Green has completed 106 of 181 pass attempts, for 1,046 yards, five touchdowns and two interceptions. He is one of eight quarterbacks in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision to have thrown for more than 1,000 yards through the first four weeks of the season and his 1,046 passing yards ranks him sixth in the FCS. Green is also the first Weber State quarterback to reach 1,000 yards passing through the team’s first four games since Cameron Higgins threw for 1,075 yards in 2010.

“I like his accuracy right now, he’s throwing the ball well,” WSU head coach Jay Hill said. “The biggest thing I see with him is there is a calming presence he has over the offense. When he gets in there, they’re not freaking out. They’re staying poised and they’re going about business the correct way, and thats one thing I like about him is he brings a calming presence.”

Senior running back Bo Bolen has played with several quarterbacks during his career with the Wildcats, and he has been impressed with what Green has been doing so far.

“I’ve noticed Billy is kind of stepping up, taking a leadership role,” Bolen said. “I felt we had been missing that quarterback presence on the field in the huddle. When he’s in (the huddle) all eyes are on him and everyone is listening.”

Green is currently averaging 261.5 yards per game, and is on pace for the first 3,000 yard passing season by a Wildcat since Cameron Higgins in 2009. Green’s current pace would also have him end up in the top 15 among career passing leaders in Weber State history by the end of the year.

“I’ve worked really hard to come in and establish myself,” Green said. “And I just want to thank the team for welcoming me in the way they did and the coaches for having faith in me.”

Green will get his first start of Big Sky Conference play this weekend, as the Wildcats go on the road to face the Southern Utah Thunderbirds.