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Black Hills State University head coach John Reiners said all along that the quarterback battle would be wide open once fall drills began. He was right as true freshman Ryan Hommel was announced as the starter for the Sept. 5 season opener at Idaho State.

"Ryan has shown the most maturity that I have ever seen from a freshman that I have coached," BHSU offensive coordinator Evan Eastburn said in a release. "I have no doubt that he has the skills to be successful at Black Hills State."

Hommel, a native of Highlands Ranch, Colo., was an all-state player his senior year at Rock Canyon High School after tossing for 1,445 yards and 17 touchdowns. He also rushed for 562 yards and four touchdowns. Throughout his prep career, Hommel threw for 4,688 yards, 45 touchdowns and rushed for 1,104 yards and 10 touchdowns.

He was in a competition sophomore Zach Meyer and redshirt freshman Ben Sjobakken.

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"I was very pleased with the level of competition," Eastburn said. "Ben and Zach put their best foot forward and rose to the occasion."

On Twitter on Thursday, Hommel posted: "Crazy to see all the hard work pay off. Beyond grateful... Time to really go to work now #UNITED."

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Sports Editor

Sports reporter for the Rapid City Journal.