Quinn Early's mother and brother recently came to San Diego to watch him coach the Cathedral Catholic High School receivers. They also were interested in getting a look at No. 88 on the team.
Chance Early, Quinn's son, was enjoying another successful season under his father's tutelage. On this day, it would grab the attention of the entire family in attendance.
"My mom and brother couldn't believe it," said Quinn, a former star at Iowa and in the NFL. "They were saying that he walks like me. He runs like me. They said it looked like me out there. It's just an uncanny resemblance."
Chance, a junior, and his father hope to help Cathedral win a sectional championship Friday when the Dons take on Point Loma at 1 p.m. at Qualcomm Stadium, home of the San Diego Chargers. Chance is coming off a two-touchdown game in the semifinals.
"At 16, he's a lot better at football than me at 16," Quinn said.
"We have a good relationship with Iowa," Quinn said. "We came out for the spring (practice) and Chance went to the elite camp. Most of the kids were going into their senior years, and he was in the middle of the pack, which was good.
"He realized the work he had to do to become a big time receiver. We keep in contact with (recruiting coordinator) Eric Johnson through email and we send tapes."
There's no question where Iowa stands with Quinn.
"Chance has Iowa high on his list," Quinn said. "As a former player, I would love to see him go there."
Chance measures in at 6-feet, 175 pounds and runs the 40-yard dash in 4.5 seconds, Quinn said. He has invitations to camps at UCLA and Oklahoma for next summer, after camping at Iowa and Arizona last year.
"They liked him a lot," Quinn said of the Wildcats. "The Stoops brothers are down there."
Before last week's semifinal game, Chance had 30 receptions for 815 yards and nine touchdowns in a Wing-T offense. He had gone over 100 yards receiving in six of the team's first 11 games.
"He doesn't drop the football," Quinn said.
Quinn said that they're trying to let the recruiting process unfold naturally, but he has kept up with the times. They've sent video to recruiting services like Scout.com, posted them on You Tube and will start promoting Chance more after the season.
"The football will take care of itself," Quinn said. "Chance works hard at his game and on his grades. We just want to get him out there.
"When I was in high school, I didn't know you could even earn a scholarship for playing football. I just did my thing and it found me. That‘s changed. It seems like there's more competition with the Internet and stuff to get a kid out there."
Quinn said that Chance is handling the recruiting process and attention in stride. Chance is humble, his father said.
"I think the best thing for me is that he wants to do it," Quinn said. "He's not doing it because I did it or that I want him to do it. Kids have to have the passion, and he does."
Quinn excelled at Iowa on some of the great teams of the mid-80s. The Chargers drafted him in the third round of the ‘88 draft and he played 12 seasons in the NFL. His best seasons occurred with New Orleans and Buffalo.
"Cathedral asked me to coach and I had the time, so I decided to do it," Quinn said. "I'm having a blast."
The Earlys have handled the dynamic of father-coaching-son well, Quinn said.
"It's really been enjoyable," he said. "I told Chance that when we're out on the field, I'm coach. Like any son, he tried to debate me at first, but that was natural.
"When we get home, we don't talk much football. I'm dad and he's my son. He's a very coachable kid and really is open to tips I might give him."
Cathedral has won 32 of its last 33 games and produces some special talent. Quinn said that Johnson also was aware of the Don's junior running back, Johnny Martin, who rushed for 138 yards and two touchdowns in the semifinals.
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