Tigers hoping to fly high

Published 11:42 am Friday, July 12, 2019


Daily News

It’s been a smooth transition.

When Kelby Holt left to go to Valdosta High, that created an opening for the offensive-coordinator position at Troup High.

Rather than look outside the program, Troup head coach Tanner Glisson decided quarterbacks coach Paul Brewer was the ideal fit for that job.

Brewer has been on the staff for six years, and he’s helped develop all-state quarterbacks Montez Crowe and Kobe Hudson.

This summer, Brewer has been working closely with the offensive players as Troup prepares for a season that begins on Aug. 30 against Ridgeland.

Troup went 12-2 last season and lost to eventual state-champion Blessed Trinity in the state semifinals.

“What we said at the first meeting was y’all already know me, and we’re not changing anything,” Brewer said. “Let’s go practice, and that was about the extent of it. So it was easy. And the kids have been great. They’ve been coming to work every day and knocking it out.”

Brewer added that “with any coordinator, are you going to be a little different? Sure. I don’t know that you’ll notice it on Friday night unless you look closely, but football’s, football.”

Brewer takes over an offense loaded with talent, with Hudson leading the way after his remarkable junior season.

Hudson threw for 3,386 yards with 32 touchdowns, and he ran for 1,410 yards with 18 touchdowns.

In his final game, a 51-35 loss to Blessed Trinity in the state semifinals, Hudson threw for 234 yards with three touchdowns, and he also had 204 rushing yards with two touchdowns.

Hudson, who plans on being a wide receiver at Auburn where he has verbally committed, will likely occasionally play other positions this season.

“We’re going to move him around a little bit,” Brewer said. “He’s going to present problems. Anytime your quarterback can move, what are you going to do? I’m glad he’s on our side. We don’t have to figure out how to defend it.”

Nick Schweizer is Hudson’s capable backup at quarterback, and he started the spring game against Newnan and threw two touchdown passes in the first half.

“Nick can go and start for us, and we’d be a good football team because he knows what to do,” Brewer said. “Would he run for 200 yards? No. Does he know how to play the position? Yeah. In the spring game, he went out and won the game.”

Troup does have some holes to fill at the wide-receiver position, with three men who accounted for 153 catches and 26 touchdowns having moved on.

Joko Willis and Jamari Thrash graduated, and Ja’Rell Smith transferred to Harris County.

Troup’s top returning receiver is speedster Mark-Anthony Dixon, and Zy Varner stepped up in the spring game and had two touchdown catches.

Troup also returns talented senior running back Trey Williams, who had nearly 1,000 yards last season.

While Troup has some men to replace on the offensive line, Brewer likes what he’s seen from that group.

“The thing I’ve noticed is our guys have bought into being really physical,” Brewer said. “With doing what we do you tend to not think about being physical because we’re throwing the ball, but football’s the same. Our kids this year we’ve noticed they’ve kind of enjoyed pushing somebody around. It seems like we’ve got kids that want to hit somebody.”

Brewer added that “we think we’re in a spot where if we’re healthy, we can go out there and dictate when we want to run. Two years ago, we felt like we had to throw the ball. Now we feel we can line up and run it when we want to. When you get down to playing the better teams, when it’s third-and-two, you’ve got to run the ball.”

Troup’s players, following the Georgia High School Association-mandated dead week, returned to work on Monday morning with a workout at the school.

Official preseason practice begins on July 25, and Troup has a preseason game at Northside-Columbus on Aug. 16 before the regular-season opener against Ridgeland on Aug. 30.

“We really feel like this week that preseason starts,” Brewer said. “In June, let’s have fun, and let’s get our workouts in. You come back now, this is work. You’re still going to have some times where you’re a little looser with it, but it’s time to start. Five weeks from now, it’s time to go.”