2024 GVSU Football Spring Game

GVSU Spring Football Game Takeaways: Who Will Replace Cade Peterson At QB?

GVSU Spring Football Game Takeaways: Who Will Replace Cade Peterson At QB?

Replacing two-time GLIAC Offensive Player of the Year Cade Peterson is no easy feat, but the Grand Valley State QB room has plenty of talent.

Apr 19, 2024 by Kyle Kensing

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On a Saturday when players received their Grand Valley State's 2023 GLIAC championship rings, the Lakers 2024 title pursuits took center stage at Kelly Family Sports Center. 

GVSU football's spring showcase — the April 13 event functioned less like a game and more as a series of drills and 7-on-7 with first team vs. first team, second team vs. second team, etc. — provided a sneak preview of a promising 2024 campaign. 

Among the leading storylines for the upcoming campaign is replacing standout quarterback Cade Peterson. 

Taking Over For An All-Time GVSU Football Great

Cade Peterson ended his GVSU football career with more than 7,200 yards passing, including 2,100-plus in three straight seasons from 2021 through 2023. 

He passed for 67 touchdowns, including 26 in 2021. 

Peterson also separated himself among the litany of excellent quarterbacks in GVSU football history as one of the top dual-threat playmakers, rushing for 21 touchdowns and a hair below 1,700 yards. 

Among Peterson's accolades are repeat GLIAC Offensive Player of the Year selections in 2022 and 2023, and a perfect run to the conference title in 2023. 

"There was a little bit of 'who's going to fill those cleats?'" Lakers coach Scott Wooster said on the spring showcase broadcast, speaking of the leadership void left by graduating players including Peterson. 

But the coach added that among the many positives of spring practices has been various players stepping into those voids — including one of the quarterbacks primed to step into Peterson's former starting role. 

Changes Abound For The GVSU Football Offense

A new starting quarterback operates an offense with a new coordinator for Grand Valley State football in 2024. The program welcomes Ian Shoemaker, whose responsibilities include overseeing the quarterback room. 

Shoemaker comes to GVSU with extensive Div. I offensive-coordinating experience, including coaching the high-powered passing attack at Eastern Washington and, most recently, co-coordinating the offense at Hawai'i. 

Meet The 2024 GVSU Football Quarterbacks

No. 15 Avery Moore, Sr. 

Although unavailable in the spring showcase due to injury, Avery Moore is set to be the Lakers starting quarterback in 2024. 

Moore brings a wealth of meaningful game experience while backing up Cade Peterson, including an outstanding performance against Anchor Bone Classic rival Ferris State in October 2023. 

Moore rushed for 126 yards and scored two of his seven touchdowns via the run registered last season. It was the second time Moore went for two rushing scores against the Bulldogs in 10 months, reaching pay dirt twice in the 2022 NCAA Div. II Playoffs showdown of GLIAC counterparts. 

The big, physical Moore has proven himself a more than capable ball-carrier but will be looked on to pass more as the primary signal caller. In limited opportunities a season ago, he threw for three touchdowns, including one each in GLIAC play against Ferris State and Northern Michigan, and did not throw an interception. 

No. 6 Alex Thole, R-So. 

Thrust into a high-pressure situation last season, Alex Thole showed what he could do by helping the Lakers to an overtime win over CSU-Pueblo. 

Thole went 5-for-7 passing and threw a touchdown in the classic after Cade Peterson came out of the game, and Avery Moore was already out due to an injury sustained in Week 1 at Colorado School of Mines. 

Thole came to GVSU by way of Tarleton in its second year of Div. I membership. 

No. 3 Vinnie Meschi, R-Jr.

Vinnie Meschi saw some opportunities in 2023 and delivered touchdowns against both Kentucky State and Wayne State. At 6-foot-2 and around 200 pounds, Meschi has a long frame and an arm that could make him a weapon in a retooled GVSU offense. 

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