There is no lazing around the house this offseason for Cody Fajardo.
The former Nevada quarterback is putting his downtime to good use.
Fajardo moved back to Reno and he is spending this winter teaching Northern Nevada high school quarterbacks how to better play the position he excelled at for the Wolf Pack.
He had been sitting at home, saying he was, “playing too many video games,” when former North Valleys quarterback Daniel Lewis approached him at the gym last December seeking advice.
Lewis, now playing football at Shasta Junior College, was looking to hone his game.
“There’s no one around here teaching quarterback-specific stuff,” Fajardo said last week in the middle of the football field at Sparks High while the Railroaders’ track team ran laps around him.
Fajardo moved permanently to Reno from Southern California last year.
He was the Wolf Pack’s starting quarterback from the middle of his freshman season through his senior year.
Fajardo is one of two quarterbacks in school history to pass for more than 9,000 yards and run for more than 3,000 yards in his career, along with Colin Kaepernick.
His multi-faceted abilities led to the name of his website ‘DuelThreatQuarterback.com” and is a big part of what he is trying to teach young quarterbacks.
“A lot of these guys, they don’t know how to throw a football. They think just because they can throw the ball and it spirals, it’s a good football, but we need to to be accurate, we need to be quick with delivery,” Fajardo said. “I also offer speed and agility stuff and board work, coverages, defensive fronts.”
Fajardo said there was a need for what he is teaching.
He said there are at least 30 quarterback coaches in Southern California.
“I’m from Southern California, so I was getting that (instruction) year round,” he said. “I want to bring that to these kids, the year-round stuff.”
Fajardo is teaching 18 quarterbacks now, from almost every area high school, as the word of what he is doing has quickly spread.
Last Sunday, Fajardo gave six consecutive lessons on the Nevada practice field, one after another, with no breaks for lunch.
Except for Lewis and one in the sixth grade, all are in high school.
Sparks football coach Brad Rose said Fajardo is having a big impact on his players.
“Having a guy with Cody’s skill set and background has really helped motivate our guys to get better. Already the quarterbacks at Sparks are getting better at throwing the ball and better at understanding defenses, which is going to be crucial for the direction we’re taking the Sparks football program this year,” Rose said. “We’re really blessed to have him helping out, he’s made a huge difference already.”
Fajardo has never been afraid to take off and run with the ball.
That fearlessness is a big part of what he teaches young quarterbacks.
“You have to be able to move in the pocket, there’s no such thing as a quarterback who has no pressure. They need to learn how to throw on the run and how to move in the pocket,” Fajardo said. “You want to be a multi-threat quarterback. I tell all my quarterbacks that if everyone is covered, taking a sack is not acceptable.”
Fajardo is playing in the CFL now with the Toronto Argonauts.
The game is a little different in Canada, the field is wider, teams have three downs instead of four on each series, and the goal posts are in the front of the end zone, something Fajardo uses to his receivers advantage, similar to setting a screen in basketball.”
He will report to training camp in May and the season begins in June. He has one year left on his CFL contract and said a few NFL teams have been in contact with him.
But he said if no NFL team wants him, he is open to playing in the CFL for 10 years or more.
“It all depends on my body,” he said. “However long my body can hold up, that’s how long I’ll play this game.”