These quarterbacks have big shoes to fill in 2014
Sure, football is a team sport. But when it comes down to it, the most important position on the field is quarterback.
In a state known for prolific passers and wide-open spread offenses, it’s essential to have a quality signal-caller under center.
If your team was lucky to have a truly special quarterback under center for three or four years, replacing him this season won’t be easy— to say the least. Some guys, however, might succeed from Day 1 just like Southlake Carroll’s Ryan Agnew or Stephenville’s Jarrett Stidham did last year.
Here is a look at some teams from around the state that will be replacing their top gunslinger from a year ago.
Out: Arguably the top dual-threat quarterback in the state, Jerrod Heard was a man among boys at the 4A level last season. Heard, who signed with Texas and is drawing comparisons to Vince Young, passed and rushed for over 2,000 yards, scored 49 total touchdowns and led Denton Guyer to the 4A Division I state title.
In: Denton Guyer has some options, but the favorite to start is sophomore Shawn Robinson. Like Heard, Robinson, who transferred in from Saginaw Chisholm Trail, is a dynamic dual-threat quarterback. He already has varsity experience— he passed for 1,123 yards, rushed for 624 yards and scored 17 total touchdowns as a freshman last season. The wildcard is Kevin Dillman, a Nebraska commit who transferred in from California. Dillman is recovering from an Achilles injury, and his status is still unknown.
Out: Patrick Mahomes set East Texas on fire last season as he passed for 4,597 yards, rushed for 943 yards and scored a whopping 65 touchdowns. Mahomes was simply unstoppable and was the main catalyst in an offense that put up absurd numbers. Mahomes decided to sign with Texas Tech rather than pursue a professional baseball career.
In: Jackson Allen has been waiting in the wings and will finally get his turn to lead the Whitehouse offense this season. The 6-foot-3, 190-pound senior is a dual-threat quarterback and gained some experience last season. In limited playing time, Allen passed for 232 yards and a touchdown.
Out: With a cannon for an arm, Blake Bogenschutz, a three-year starter, put up monster numbers a year ago. Bogenschutz threw for 4,003 yards and 57 touchdowns with only four interceptions as he guided Carthage to the 3A Division I state title. Bogenschutz signed with UTSA after a stellar career with the Bulldogs.
In: While Bogenschutz’s production and leadership will be missed, Carthage is ready to start a new chapter in program history. And it’s looking like it will be led by junior Jarod Blissett. A pretty darn good baseball player, Blissett, who stands at 6-foot, 200-pounds, is a solid athlete and has potential. It’s just a matter of getting accustomed to being ‘the guy’ after passing for a mere 81 yards in 2013.
Out: The man the myth, the legend, Travis Quintanilla was inarguably one of the top small-school quarterbacks this state has ever seen. If numbers really don’t lie, Quintanilla is the best ever. He owns just about every Texas high school passing record and has a state ring to boot. But Quintanilla’s reign is over, and he will be playing his college ball at Texas A&M Kingsville.
In: When asked how he plans to replace Quintanilla’s production, Refugio coach Jason Herring simply said, ‘we’re going to skin the cat a little differently.’ Sophomore Jaylon Mascorro takes over under center and will provide a dual-threat element that Quintanilla did not. Mascorro is a terrific athlete who started at free safety as a freshman last season and was named the district’s Newcomer of the Year.
FW All Saints
Out: The best quarterback down in the private school ranks was Foster Sawyer. There is just no argument. At 6-foot-5, 210-pounds, Sawyer was a pure pocket passer with a rocket arm. Sawyer, who signed with hometown TCU, passed for 3,172 yards and 48 touchdowns with just two interceptions.
In: Ryan Suitt is transferring in from Granbury after an impressive junior campaign. If Suitt gets a quick grasp of All Saints’ spread offense, there is no reason he shouldn’t put up big numbers. Last season, Suitt passed for 2,248 yards, rushed for 416 yards and scored 30 total touchdowns and was named the district’s Newcomer of the Year.
EJ Holland is the associate editor of Dave Campbell's Texas Football and TexasFootball.com.
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