One Gutty QB

<B>Drew Weatherford</B> will be one of the top quarterback prospects from the state of Florida and in the country among the class of 2004. Weatherford, 6-3 and 200 pounds, plays for Land O'Lakes High School north of Tampa. Last season as a junior, he threw for 2,645 yards, 39 touchdown passes and only six interceptions. Weatherford was 162 for 249 (65%). He did this despite playing with a torn cartilage (meniscus) in his knee. Click here to read comments from Drew.

Drew Weatherford will be one of the top quarterback prospects from the state of Florida and in the country among the class of 2004. Weatherford, 6-3 and 200 pounds, plays for Land O'Lakes High School north of Tampa. Last season as a junior, he threw for 2,645 yards, 39 touchdown passes and only six interceptions. Weatherford was 162 for 249 (65%). He did this despite playing with a torn cartilage (meniscus) in his knee.

"The knee injury happened doing some drills the week before our opener," said Weatherford. "It locked up on me and I knew I was hurt. I saw a doctor the day of our first game and they did a MRI and he said I couldn't play and scheduled me for surgery the following Monday. I didn't have surgery and played through it the entire season. I wore a brace all year and was about 70%. Playing means too much to me. I had faith that God would protect me."

Weatherford led Land O'Lakes to a 12-1 season. They eventually lost to Melbourne (Fla.) Palm Bay High School in the playoffs.

Obviously, one of his best attributes is toughness but he has so many more.

"Drew is just a great kid," Land O'Lakes Head Coach John Benedetto said. "He is such a great competitor. Drew is on a mission to succeed and reach all of his goals. He wants to play in the NFL and I think he will get there. As a player, he is very talented, accurate and a winner who refuses to lose. When the game is on the line, he wants to make that big play and he did that for us on a number of occasions this past season. And Drew is the type of player that makes everyone around him a little better."

After the season, Weatherford did have surgery on the knee. That was the second knee injury in as many seasons. He is not quite 100% but working hard towards that goal.

"God has blessed me with a gift. I try hard out there and leave it all on the field, every game and every practice. That is how I was brought up. On the field, I make good decisions with the ball and I have a strong arm."

Despite it being so early in the recruiting process, Auburn, Louisville, Minnesota and South Florida have all extended him a scholarship offer. Certainly, there are many more to come his way over the next few months.

"Right now, Florida State is my favorite team. They have always been my team. I grew up actually playing middle linebacker and I just always loved the way Florida State played defense. They always got after it and I love (FSU Defensive Coordinator) Mickey Andrews' style.

"I also like Florida, Miami, Auburn, LSU, Notre Dame and Southern Cal. I want to go to a school where I am comfortable. I know football will end one day so academics are important to me. I also want to have a good relationship with the coaches and players."

Weatherford plans to attend the Nike Camp at Florida. He would also like to attend summer college camps at Florida State and Auburn. Last summer, he camped at Auburn.


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