SAN JOSE -- There's quite a circle of circumstances that led to Saturday's 4 p.m. meeting between San Jose State quarterback David Fales and Wyoming's Brett Smith.

And it involves a heavy dose of Austyn Carta-Samuels, the Bellarmine College Prep product who is now the starter at Vanderbilt and has ties to both the Spartans and the Cowboys.

It starts with Carta-Samuels committing to San Jose State as a high school senior in 2009. Fales was a fellow high school senior at Palma-Salinas, but the Spartans didn't heavily recruit him then in part because they had Carta-Samuels lined up.

Fales landed at Nevada, where he spent only a year as a redshirt before transferring to Monterey Peninsula College. Carta-Samuels never made it to SJSU, instead flipping and joining Wyoming when Spartans' co-offensive coordinator Marcus Arroyo landed a job with the Cowboys.

Carta-Samuel's time in Wyoming lasted only two years. Arroyo left the Cowboys in 2011 to become Cal's quarterbacks coach, so Carta-Samuels decided to transfer and ended up at Vanderbilt.

That left a vacancy for the Wyoming starting quarterback job.

Smith had committed to San Jose State in the summer of 2010, but changed his mind when Fresno State, Nevada and Hawaii jumped ship from the Western Athletic Conference to join the Mountain West Conference.


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Wyoming plucked Smith and then tried to get Fales to walk-on to compete with him for the starting job. Fales tried it out, but eventually returned to MPC. Smith got the starting job and was a freshman All-American.

After another junior college season, Fales landed at San Jose State shortly after the Spartans learned Michigan transfer Tate Forcier was leaving the school.

It's worked out well on all sides.

All three are starting quarterbacks at Football Bowl Subdivision schools. For Fales, it's been a record-setting year and a half at SJSU. He broke every significant single-season passing record last year and remains on pace to break the career records for passing yards and touchdowns. He's 1,412 yards from Adam Tafralis' career record of 7,548 and 14 touchdowns from Steve Clarkson's record of 59.

Smith led Wyoming to a bowl game his freshman year and is having a strong junior season as one of the top dual threat quarterbacks around.

Carta-Samuels, who like Smith earned Mountain West Freshman of the Year honors at Wyoming, also led the Cowboys to a bowl as a freshman. He was the offensive MVP in a New Mexico Bowl victory. And now he's a starting quarterback in the highly-touted SEC, playing at his dream school.

Now a bad circle of circumstances for SJSU-recruited quarterbacks.