MOBILE, AL (WNSP) — Another local product is leading a Sun Belt team into Ladd-Peebles Stadium Saturday.
Conner Cramer, an Alma Bryant alum, is the starting quarterback at New Mexico State, who plays at South Alabama this week. He got the starting job last week after his predecessor, Tyler Rogers, suffered an injury in his throwing arm at practice.
In the 37-7 loss to Appalachian State on Saturday, he went 10-for-24 with 93 yards and a touchdown. He also picked up 74 yards on the ground against one of the best defenses in the conference.
The junior transferred to NMSU from the New Mexico Military Institute this past year. Cramer averaged 268.2 passing yards per game and racked up 26 touchdown passes and just nine interceptions, leading him to a spot on the All-WSFL First Team in 2015.
Cramer, who graduated from Alma Bryant in 2013, began his college career in West Alabama. There, he redshirted and transferred to College of the Sequoias in Visalia, California.
Then, he transferred to the NMMI, choosing it out of other schools, including South Alabama, Troy, Southern Miss, and UC Davis.
“Honestly, I wasn’t planning on going back to JUCO,” Cramer told Scout.com in 2014. “Some offers fell through and I talked to some coaches and they preferred going JUCO again so I decided to head to NMMI because I had already told COS I wasn’t coming back and they offered a full ride.”
His path led the Grand Bay native through Roswell, where the NMMI is located, to Las Cruces, home of the Aggies.
This isn’t the first time a hometown quarterback has led a team into Ladd-Peebles, though. Orange Beach’s Brandon Silvers and the Troy Trojans beat South 28-21 on Oct. 20, in the second “Battle for the Belt.”
Silvers went 28-for-42 with an 80-yard touchdown, and he ran for 18 yards in the nationally-televised Thursday night game. The Trojans are currently 9-2, and with a win on Saturday, they could clinch a share of the Sun Belt title.
For the 6-6 Jags, a win over 3-8 New Mexico State means a shot at a second bowl game. The NCAA granted the Jags a provisional waiver earlier this year, meaning that despite beating more than one FCS opponent, their record would make them bowl eligible.
Basically, South would get to cut in line in front of the 5-7 teams jockeying for what spots are left.
Only Cramer and the Aggies stand in the way.
The game begins at noon, and it will be streamed on ESPN3.