QBs benefit from master teacher

By Jake Shaw/TexasFootball.com

Recruiting ain’t what it used to be. Unless you’re a short quarterback.

That recruiters continue to shy away from height-challenged quarterbacks proves that players who can throw with the best of them — but don’t fit the prototype — will have to work harder to get recruited.

Pleasanton head coach Tab Dumont is seeing that right now with his starter. Niko Salinas, who chalked up 1,724 of his 3,112 offensive yards through the air, is looking at schools like Holy Cross (you know, the one in Worcester, Mass?) and Ivy League programs. The big boys haven’t been calling.

“He’s got a lot of schools on him,” Dumont said, “but no DI schools are on him right now.”

Standing about an inch taller than Salinas is San Antonio O’Connor’s Bruno Reno. Reno came just short of 2,000 yards passing last year.

But beside the height, numbers, and location, Reno and Salinas have another unique link: both are pupils of Sonny Detmer, the new head coach at Somerset whose sons, Koy and Ty, both played DI and NFL football.

Detmer believes both Salinas and Reno deserve more attention from recruiters.

Detmer on Reno: “I don’t think he’s ranked as high as he should be. He’s got all his receivers back and he’s putting up numbers.

“He’s strong-armed, knows his offense real well. I don’t know exactly how many yards he had passing … but I can just tell he’s going to have a bang-up year. I’d say he’s a DI guy myself.”

And on Salinas: “They don’t throw as much as O’Connor, but he had some pretty good games against teams that were doing pretty well. Barefooted, he’s about 5-11. I know that hurts them sometimes.”

Detmer added that Salinas is definitely college material and probably a fringe DI type. He should know. More than three decades spent coaching, Detmer groomed his sons, both which also lacked the height desired by recruiters, into mainstays in the NFL.

Both Koy and Ty often stop by their dad’s informal camps, which run on Monday nights in the summers.

“Every once in a while Ty and Koy show up to mess with them,” Sonny said. “I think a little bit, they like seeing them out there. They pay a lot of attention to them.”

Since high school coaches can’t coach their own players, Dumont said it benefits Salinas and others to receive master teaching.

“He’s been working with him as long as he’s been able to throw the ball,” Dumont said.

Salinas’ effort is reflected on the field. More than the numbers, Salinas coach said the senior-to-be exhibits a calm and leadership rare in prep players.

“It’s like having another coach on the field, not to mention he’s a great leader,” Dumont said. “He knows the offense better than me. He’s a diamond in a pile of rocks, and some (college program) is going to find him.”

Detmer said he sees the same attributes in Reno.

“I was teasing him (the other day) saying ‘you’ve been coming out here since 8th grade, you’re doing so well, I don’t think you need me anymore,”

That may be the case. But when he’s gone, 15 or 20 more will come along. And Detmer will be there to teach them.

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