Quarterback questions for local teams
Published 11:49 am Tuesday, July 24, 2018
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
It was a magical season for Montez Crowe.
The Troup High senior was one of the best quarterbacks in the state, and he helped lead the team to a 9-3 record and a berth in the second round of the state playoffs.
Even in losing Crowe put up phenomenal numbers, throwing for more than 400 yards with a pair of touchdowns in a 43-35 season-ending setback to St. Pius X.
This fall, Crowe will be throwing passes for Savannah State, which means there’ll be somebody new taking the snaps at Troup.
Callaway is also faced with replacing a starting quarterback following the graduation of Kedrick Ramsey, who signed with Morehouse.
LaGrange’s starting quarterback from last season has returned, but there is still a quarterback competition between Charles Crawford and Sammy Caputo.
With a new season now less than a month away, Callaway, LaGrange and Troup are all still exploring their options at quarterback.
At Troup, there will be big shoes to fill.
Crowe was a two-year starting quarterback, and he’s coming off a memorable senior year.
In 12 games Crowe threw for 3,984 yards, and only six quarterbacks in the history of the state had more yards in a single season than that.
In one game alone against Sandy Creek, Crowe threw for more than 500 yards with eight touchdowns.
“That’s something we’ll remember forever,” said Kelby Holt, Troup’s offensive coordinator. “Everybody’s going to hold us to that standard, like everybody’s going to hold Cartersville to the Trevor Lawrence standard.”
Holt has been helping shape Crowe’s replacement.
The man who could end up at quarterback is Kobe Hudson, who was one of Crowe’s favorite targets at wide receiver the past two seasons.
Hudson, a junior, is a dynamic player who has committed to Auburn.
Nick Schweizer has also been working a lot at quarterback during the spring and summer, and Sydney Lawson is in the picture as well.
The key, Holt said, is designing an offensive system that best fits the quarterback.
“Every quarterback does something different,” Holt said. “I think Dan Mullen says it the best. Dan Mullen says everybody wants to run offensive systems, and this is what we do. He says we’re going to run what our quarterback can do. You don’t want to try to put a square peg in a round hole.”
With Hudson at quarterback, Troup would have a player capable of making plays with his legs, and his throwing arm.
Hudson showed how explosive he can be when he had two long touchdown runs in the spring game against Newnan, although one of those scores was negated because of a penalty.
“He can make you look like a good play-caller, and take a busted play and go 60 yards,” Holt said. “You saw that against Newnan.”
Holt also has a lot of confidence in Schweizer.
Schweizer saw limited playing time last season late in blowout games, and Holt said he is similar to Crowe from a style standpoint.
“Nick can go right up under there and run the offense,” Holt said. “He can run our offense that we ran last year, and not change a thing. You just do some different concepts.”
Holt said that Lawson, who was the primary backup last season, is “in the mix” as well.
“He’s probably more on the level of a Crowe,” Holt said. “He can do some things that Crowe can do.”
Holt said “we’re going to throw everything at them, and then we’re going to see what they can do.”
At Callaway, Jacob Freeman and Demetrius Coleman have been working at quarterback.
In the spring game against Montgomery Catholic, Freeman was the starter, and he led the offense to three first-half touchdowns.
Freeman, a junior, capped one of those drives with a touchdown run, and he also showed off his passing touch with a 25-yard completion to Jymere Jones that set up a score.
Coleman, a sophomore, entered the game late in the first half, and he completed a first-down pass and had an 18-yard run before time ran out.
“Jacob Freeman and Demetrius Coleman have worked hard in the offseason,” Callaway head coach Pete Wiggins said. “They’re working hard in the weight room. They’ve gotten a lot of reps, and they’re competing for that starting role.”
Freeman was a key offensive contributor last season, and he was the team’s leading receiver.
In a win over Upson-Lee, Freeman had touchdown catches of 50 and 66 yards.
Following the spring game, Freeman said he’s ready for whatever role the coaches have for him.
“I love being a leader, whether it’s at receiver, cornerback, anything,” Freeman said.
Coleman likely would have contributed in some fashion last season, but he missed significant time with an injury.
“Both of them look good, and both of them have done a good job of leading, and carrying themselves in the huddle,” Wiggins said.
At LaGrange, Charles Crawford returns after starting nearly every game last season.
Crawford, a junior, and sophomore Sammy Caputo are the two candidates to be LaGrange’s starting quarterback for the season opener against Heard.
“They’re our quarterbacks, one-two,” said LaGrange head coach Chuck Gibbs. “Both bring something to the table the other doesn’t, which is good.”
Crawford and Caputo played extensively during the spring game against Manchester, and the offense was effective with both of them at the helm.
“I think both are more than serviceable for our offense from a standpoint of they’re able to make the throws we’re going to need them to make to move the chains, and hopefully get it in the end zone,” Gibbs said.