WASHINGTON -- David Fales still shakes his head in amazement when he thinks about the debut season he's put together at San Jose State.
He's quick to point out that his performance is a product of the entire team, so for all of the junior quarterback's record-breaking statistics, the number that matters most is the 10 victories.
Fales hopes to make that 11 when the No. 24 Spartans (10-2) face Bowling Green (8-4) on Thursday at noon in the Military Bowl at RFK Stadium.
While Fales remains humble, his teammates aren't shy in stressing how he's helped transform the team into a winner.
"Probably the biggest difference from the last couple of years until now is how well he's played," senior tight end Ryan Otten said of Fales. "That might be the difference for us taking that next step, jumping up to the top 25."
Junior wide receiver Noel Grigsby, San Jose State's all-time leader in receptions and receiving yards, is thrilled Fales landed with the Spartans following two years at Monterey Peninsula College that came after a redshirt season at Nevada.
"Some say he's like an angel that fell out of the sky," Grigsby said. "The main thing is since he's been here, he's been determined. He won't take no for an answer. He's going to try to outwork everybody."
Fales has caused the sports information department to work overtime with his rewriting of the record books. He has broken or is in line to break seven records this season.
The marks he's already surpassed include single-season passing yards (3,798), passing touchdowns (31), total offense (3,669), completions (294) and completions in a game (38).
Fales' 72.06 completion percentage, which leads the nation, also stands to be a school record. He would need to go 0 for 41 passing in the bowl game to not eclipse Adam Tafralis' 2006 mark. He has a similar cushion that should allow him to break Jeff Garcia's record for passer efficiency.
He's emerged into a full-fledged NFL prospect, one who could see his stock rise significantly if he delivers another standout season next year. He hasn't indicated he has any plans to skip his senior season.
Former San Jose State quarterback Steve Clarkson was the previous record-holder for single-season touchdown passes at 25. His career school record of 59 could be in jeopardy next season.
Clarkson works as a private quarterback coach, having tutored Ben Roethlisberger, Heisman Trophy winners Gino Torretta and Matt Leinart, and several others. He hasn't seen Fales play yet, but after examining his attributes, he likes his potential.
"With his play, he's got to have an opportunity to play in the Senior Bowl next year," Clarkson said, referring to the postseason all-star game that showcases NFL prospects. "With what I know about next year's class, he has a shot to be a first-rounder."
Clarkson said he hopes to invite Fales to one of his camps for college quarterbacks during the offseason. Fales did attend a camp put on by Clarkson while he was a junior at Palma High in Salinas. Bowling Green quarterback Matt Schilz, who is from Arcadia, was also at that camp.
Fales marvels at how much has changed since last December, when he signed with SJSU after two seasons of starting at the JC level.
"It's crazy just to think about where I was and what I'm talking about now," Fales said. "It's pretty exciting."
The NFL has always been a dream for Fales.
"When you're in elementary (school), you're always thinking about it. It's what you want to do as a kid, go pro in football," Fales said.
At 6-foot-3, 220 pounds, he has good size to go along with a strong enough arm that's buoyed by precision accuracy.
"He definitely has the physical talent," Spartans offensive coordinator Brian Lindgren said of Fales' NFL potential. "He makes great decisions and is pretty efficient."
His name has remained out of the national spotlight for the most part, although he was a Sports Illustrated honorable mention All-American. He was also a second-team All-Western Athletic Conference pick.
The bowl game should be an opportunity for the rest of the nation to learn about the Spartans' standout.
david fales by the numbers
YDS TD INT COMP PCT.
3,798 31 9 72.06*
SJSU starting defensive tackle Anthony Larceval doesn't make the trip, remains hospitalized with "serious illness."