By: Ben Mauk – from Kenton High School, Wake Forest, Cincinnati and Saskatchewan Roughriders.
There is a lot of thought and evaluation that goes into deciding who will be the quarterback.
A Leader: When choosing a quarterback, we tend to look for a kid that is going to be a leader. The kid that leads by example – in the weight room, during conditioning or position specific drills. Other kids respect him because of his work ethic and willingness to be successful.
Mentally tough: We look for a kid that is mentally tough. The kid that can face and overcome adversity. When things don’t go our way, we can’t have a kid running the offense that is going to “flinch” or fold up the tents.
Enthusiasm: We look for a kid that plays with enthusiasm and loves the game of football. We’re not looking for a kid that plays on emotion, but is sincerely enthusiastic about playing football (whether it be practice, walk-thru, game time, film study, etc. The kid just loves being around the game and getting better each day).
Physically: We are looking for a quarterback that is in the top shape of his life and can run our no-huddle offense at an intensely fast pace. The quarterback that can scramble around for 20 seconds, get tackled, and still have the ability to get up and throw an accurate across the field “deep out” on the next play. We would like our quarterback to be one of the best athletes on the team, allowing us to run the ball with him on draws and stretches, but also one that can make a play out of nothing or when things break down. In addition, because of our roll out packages and the number of time our quarterback will scramble, he has to be able to throw in the run. Our quarterback is a lot like a basketball player, in that they have to be able to get their throw (shot) off from many different angles. We throw a lot of various screen plays and a lot of these throws defenders will be in our quarterback’s face; he has to be able to get the ball delivered into the hands of our receiver from different launch points to be effective. Our quarterback, as any quarterback, must have good footwork. We understand that Accuracy=Balance + Timing and how critical of a role footwork plays in the accuracy of a quarterback.
Student of the Game: Finally, we would like our quarterback to be a student of the game. In order to take our team to the next level, our quarterback must be willing to learn as much as he can about our offense and why we are doing the things we are doing. He must also know our opponents, both their weaknesses and strengths, so that we may exploit them and protect the football when we are in possession.
There is obviously a lot that goes into a decision about choosing a quarterback, and it varies from offense to offense, but this is just a quick synopsis of what we are looking for at Kenton High School.