Virginia's most prolific passer, and one of the top quarterbacks on the prep level, the 5-foot-11, 190-pound standout discussed his season, recruitment, and thoughts on NC State with Pack Pride.
How has your season being going?
My season has been going great. My team's 3-0. We're off to a great start. We first started off with Bullis, up in the Maryland area, we beat them in a good game at home.
The big win was our second game against Godwin, the rival public school in our area. We did real well against them. We beat them 44-19. There were probably 5,000-7,000 people there.
This past weekend we went up to D.C. and had a tough game against St. Alban's. We won 32-29. I did real well in that game. I threw the ball for 435 yards and three touchdowns. I also ran for two touchdowns in that game.
You put up great stats every week and Collegiate is coming off a state championship. Do you ever hear anyone question the level of competition that you play?
They kind of have in the past, but it kind of goes away when they actually see me play. They have seen me play a tough public school in Godwin the past three years, and I've done very well in those games. We also play the best private schools in Virginia and D.C. every year. It's not a concern for me though. I can't control what people say or think. I just go out and try to help my team win football games.
|"I always find things that I could do better."|
You are now a three-year starter at Collegiate. How comfortable are you with the offensive system?
I'm extremely comfortable with everything. I'm comfortable with my coaches and my wide receivers. We work on it everyday. Even when I go out and throw for 300 yards or so every game, there is always progress to be made. There is room for improvement. After watching film, I always find things that I could do better, but I'm extremely comfortable in the offense.
How much contact do you have with the NC State coaching staff? How often do you talk to them?
I talk or text them about every other day. I'll text or call coach Amato every now and then and talk with coach Cignetti or coach Trestman. I contact them after my games too and let them know how that went, and I'll call them after I watch their games too. The communication is always there with NC State.
Have any new schools been in contact with you?
It's pretty much the same situation. A lot of schools have been trying to talk to me and stuff, especially since I'm off to a great start with my senior year. But I still like NC State a lot. My focus is on them. I'm comitted to them.
What schools in particular are still on you, and how has the contact been?
It has been just keeping in touch. Phone calls, text messages, emails.... stuff like that. It's been schools like UNC... basically the same ones that have been recruiting me.
Do you plan on attending any NC State games this year?
Definitely. I was going to try and come up this past weekend, but I couldn't make it. I had too much work to do. I'm going to probably go to the Florida State game, that's on a Thursday night, and I'm going to try and go to the Wake Forest game on October 14th. I'm also going to try and go to that Virginia game up here as well.
I'm definitely going to go down there, and I still have my official visit to take.
What did you think of the Boston College game?
I got to watch it. It was a good game, and I'm glad that NC State got the job done. That's the key... getting the job done.
I'm sure the fans are extremely happy about that one. They beat the No. 20 team in the country. That shows NC State can compete at a very high level. Football isn't an easy game. You have to compete every night out and that's what they did.
What do you think of their situation? You mentioned that you watched the game this past weekend. What do you think of their offensive situation?
I look at it as a great opportunity for me. There are great quarterbacks already there, and they have great receivers, running backs, and a good offensive line. They have great coaches in coach Trestman and coach Amato.
It's a great situation for me. I can go down there and compete. That's what I love doing... competing and getting better and helping the team get better. I want to help the team win as many games as we can... win an ACC championship and hopefully a national championship.
What do you think of their offensive personnel?
They have a lot of guys that can make plays. That's a great thing. You can kind of throw the ball to a spot and they will bring it in and take it to the house. It's the same with the running backs. It looks like they have a lot of speed on offense, and the receivers have great hands.
Do you talk with any other recruits who are considering NC State?
Yes, I've talked with Jay Smith. I've talked with him on the phone a few times. He's a great guy. I'm trying to get him there.
He's a great wide receiver. I've talked to his dad a lot too. If we both can make it up for the Florida State game, it would be a great opportunity for him and me to connect and develop a relationship.
I've called a couple of cornerbacks from my area too.
|"I want to help the team win as many games as we can."|
I'm sure you've heard it before, but when evaluating you as a quarterback prospect, the biggest knock has been your size. However, smaller quarterbacks have succeeded in the ACC, players like Reggie Ball, Marques Hagans, and Joe Hamilton to name a few. Does that inspire you and give you extra motivation?
I can't knock myself or my height. God made me that way for a reason. With my height, I don't ever try to throw over guys... I'm already throwing through seams so it's not a concern for me.
I face some 6'4/6'5 defensive ends, and I don't think it's a worry. I have great foot speed so I can get away, and I drop deep in the pocket. I don't worry about it.
Guys like Hagans, Ball, and Hamilton, who went to Georgia Tech, he's one of the players I really admire, they have shown what they can do. Hamilton was one of the best quarterbacks I've seen, and guys like that do inspire me.
Has NC State mentioned to you that you will have a chance to come in and compete for the starting spot?
Yes sir. They've definitely made that clear. They told me that I'm going to go in and fight for the job. That's what I want to do. Hopefully I will win it and if I don't I'll keep working for it.
They're not going to tell me that I'm going to start, and I don't want that. I don't want the coach to tell me I'm going to start as a freshman. That's not good to the team or the other quarterbacks. I think they are going to play whoever is the best and whoever does the best in practice.
Did you ever consider enrolling in college in January?
I was thinking about it. It would have been a good idea but it was too late during the summer when State had offered me. Also, I have my senior year in baseball.
I thought about it, but it was too late. What I'm going to do is go down there early in the summer. I'll take some summer classes and go ahead and start learning the plays and getting to know the wide receivers. I want to become best friends with the players so I can build that comfort level, and they can trust that I have the ability to play.
You're also playing baseball at NC State. Have you talked with coach Avent and his staff much?
I talk with them some here and there. They are really excited. They say I will help the team with my bat and foot speed. It's a good opportunity for me to show my skills in baseball as well.
Do you have a favorite sport?
No, it's whatever I'm playing at the time. I take it day-by-day and just try to do the best in whatever I'm doing.