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Troup, Newnan meet in spring game

By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY

Daily News03

During a spectacular freshman season, Troup High’s Taeo Todd established himself as one of the state’s most dynamic play-makers at the quarterback position.

Todd’s calling card was his remarkable running ability, and he finished the season with nearly 1,500 rushing yards.

On Friday night, Todd will be back under center for the Tigers, but he won’t be able to display his dazzling running skills.

When Newnan High hosts Troup in a spring game at 5:30

p.m., the quarterbacks for both teams will be wearing red jerseys, meaning they can’t get hit, and they won’t be running.

“Taeo’s going to be off limits,” Troup head coach Tanner Glisson said. “He’ll have a red jersey on. That itself takes a way a lot of our offense. I don’t know what it’ll look like with a quarterback who can’t run. It’s a lot easier to scheme (defensively) if you have a quarterback that can’t run, so we’ll see how it looks.”

The game will put the finishing touches on Troup’s spring practice, which began more than two weeks ago.

The Tigers are coming off another successful season under Glisson, who took over the program in 2015 and has guided the team to five straight playoff berths, as well as a spot in the state semifinals in 2018.

Troup started 0-3 last year, but it ran off six consecutive wins before losing a 32-29 heart-breaker to Carver in the region-championship game on the final day of the regular season.

That loss dropped Troup to fourth in Region 2-AAAA, and it lost a hard-fought 42-35 game to Benedictine in the opening round of the state playoffs.

During the months leading up to the 2020 season, a major question mark for the Tigers revolved around who would take over at quarterback following the departure of Kobe Hudson, who is now at Auburn.

The job was eventually won by Todd, and that decision paid major dividends.

Even during the early-season struggles, Todd showed what he was capable off, and as the season went along he grew more and more comfortable in his role and he ended up nearly helping the team win a region championship.

While Todd won’t show off his full arsenal of skills on Friday, Glisson knows what he’s got.

“I don’t need to see anything else out of Taeo to know he can play,” Glisson said.

The same goes for the other veterans on the team, but there are also a lot of unproven players who will be called upon to play a key role this fall.

Most notably, Troup is having to replace some key players on both lines of scrimmage.

“Anytime you replace your starting offensive and defensive lines, you’ve got some work to do,” Glisson said. “We think the guys we have on the offensive line have a chance to be good, they just need experience. The defensive line, we’ve had to tinker with our scheme because we don’t have Jordan Adams, (Christopher) Hilton, and those kind of guys.”

Soon after Friday’s game, the Tigers will turn their attention to the summer program, and they’ll begin official preseason practice in late July.

Troup will play a preseason game at Heard County on Aug. 13 before opening the season on Aug. 20 against Harris County.

Troup then plays Callaway on Aug. 27 before opening its eight-game region schedule on Sept. 10 at Hardaway.

Glisson is coming off an exceptional debut season as Troup’s head baseball coach.

The Tigers went 29-5, won a region championship, and reached the third round of the state playoffs.

When Glisson looks at the football team, he sees a similar makeup.

“We don’t really have a lot of superstars, kind of like in baseball,” Glisson said. “It’s very similar. So, we’ll see.”

TROUP VS. NEWNAN

WHAT: Spring football game

WHERE: Newnan High

WHEN: Thursday, 5:30 p.m.