Ravell Call, Deseret Morning News
Michael Affleck is battling for the backup quarterback position at Utah State after stops at three other schools since playing at Timpview High School.

LOGAN — There was a time when 4-for-11 for 98 yards with no touchdowns and three interceptions would have been considered a bad quarter for former Timpview High quarterback Mike Affleck.

For Affleck, however, those numbers are his college statsistics.

Affleck left Timpview High as the most prolific passer in the school's history and one of the most highly sought-after quarterbacks in the state when he graduated in 2003.

Arizona State eventually won the sweepstakes for the 6-foot-4, 225-pounder over USC, Colorado, Oregon, BYU and Arizona.

Instead of piling up numbers at Arizona State, he's redshirted, underwent surgery on his non-throwing shoulder, transferred to BYU, was suspended for run-in with the law and transferred to Dixie State, all while battling personal problems —some of which have been made public while others he chooses to keep private.

"It's been a lot of bad decisions I have made as far as off-the-field issues and in my personal life," said Affleck, who is now a junior at Utah State University.

"It wasn't my own (football) ability keeping me down, it was me making bad decisions," he said. "I'm happy to have two years left with my head screwed on straight to make the best of it."

Since hitting rock-bottom last year while a back-up at Dixie State, Affleck, with the help of his parents, has turned it around, and is hoping now to put up the numbers that his high school potential projected he could have.

"It's winding down and I have two years left and it's freaking me out," he said. "To me, I'm capable of playing in the NFL, but you have to get out on the field first and that's what's I'm trying to do."

Affleck is one of four quarterbacks in Utah State camp vying for the back-up job to starter Leon Jackson III.

As a senior in high school he led the T-Birds to a 12-1 record, while completing 129 of 212 passes for 2,063 yards and 22 touchdowns with just nine interceptions, and that was in just 11 games. He sat out two games for breaking team rules.

He was rated the 11th-best passer in the nation by one publication and 13th by another. One Internet site listed him as the 35th best-player on the West coast and another had him as the 15th best player in the Midlands (Utah, Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Wyoming).

The MVP of the Colorado Nike Football Camp posted great career numbers: 234 for 407 for 4,173 yards for 37 touchdowns and 17 interceptions.

He was set to make his mark at ASU.

Midway through his freshman year, however, he became frustrated. Sam Keller, a highly touted freshman quarterback from California earned the back-up job to Andrew Walter. Affleck redshirted and was relegated to the scout team.

It was as the scout team quarterback he got to know ASU defensive coordinator Brent Guy, who would be named the head coach at Utah State two years later.

"I had the chance to be with him every day," Affleck said. "I got to go against his defense every day. We established a good relationship down there."

Little did he know, he would need Guy's help down the road.

In his redshirt-freshman year he didn't get any snaps and after spring practice he underwent surgery on his left shoulder, but never returned to Arizona State. He transferred to BYU after contemplating a transfer to Utah or Utah State.

At BYU he would be home and playing for an university that once wanted him. Coach Gary Crowton welcomed him, but instead of being high in the mix like we was at Arizona State, he was down the list that included names like John Beck, who was second-team all-MWC the season before, Matt Berry, Jason Beck, Jackson Brown and Todd Mortensen.

While at BYU, he was cited for minor consumption and suspended from the team.

"I've never been able to not play football. At that time it was everything. That made me learn a lesson that football isn't everything. That, honestly, helped me get back to football," he said. "It pulled me down. I couldn't play and I wasn't part of the team. It hurt. I was depressed and one thing led to another. It was best to find another spot."

That spot — Dixie State.

He missed all of fall camp at Dixie last year while trying to decided whether or not to stay at BYU. He arrived at Dixie two games into the season and saw minimal action in three games — the first three games of his college career.

"Honestly, at Dixie last year I didn't think I was going to be able to get back to the Div. I level," he said.

After a heart-to-heart with Guy, Affleck has found a new home at Utah State, but this time he hoping to do what he set out to do in 2003.

"Just to have the opportunity to play again is all I ask for," he said. "I know my athletic ability will take care of itself, but you can't perform athletically unless you know what you're doing . . . I want to give it my best and if I give it my best and it doesn't work out than I can't do anything about it. I have the good feeling that if I try my best good things will happen."


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