"He puts the ball on the money when we need it there."
Townsend, a 6-foot-4, 222-pounder, completed 48.3-percent of his passes last season. However, he posted a 23-5 touchdown-to-interception ratio with a schedule that included four games against teams that played in a NCHSAA state championship game. By comparison, South View's quarterback in 2007 threw four interceptions in one game – and he threw less often.
"[Townsend] made a lot of real good decisions," Ledford said. "He didn't have but five interceptions on the year and threw for 23 touchdowns – that was what we needed more than anything. A lot of times you can throw for a lot of touchdown passes and have a lot of interceptions, and they counteract one another.
"His size, I think, helps him with that a lot. He can see the whole field being as tall as he is."
Townsend led his area with 2,013 yards passing. For all of his accomplishments, he was named to the All-Cape Fear Region First Team and awarded the Two Rivers Conference Offensive Player-of-the-Year.
Townsend also accumulated 133 yards and four scores rushing.
"As the year went along, we started letting him run the ball a little more," Ledford said. "We ran a little option with him and he made some good decisions doing that."
Ledford plans to incorporate even more run plays into his offense for Townsend this coming fall.
However, make no mistake, Townsend is a pocket passer.
"He's not really a runner, so to speak," Ledford said. "But he's so big; he's hard to bring down some times. He can scramble around back there and get loose, and a lot of times it takes more than one [defender] to bring him down."
As a sophomore, Townsend predominately served as the backup quarterback. He did, though, start the first two games of that season when Ryan Everitte, the starting quarterback, suffered a preseason injury. On the season, Townsend completed 14-of-32 passes for 214 yards and two touchdowns.
When Everitte graduated following the 2007 season, the starting quarterback role was Townsend's.
"I just knew I had to go out there and work hard if I wanted to make our team better," Townsend said. "I never thought I'd have that type of season. I wanted it to [be an exceptional season], but I didn't think it was going to be like that."
Townsend's junior season has drawn the attention of many colleges. Notre Dame, NC State, and South Carolina have expressed the most interest. Townsend, however, is waiting to receive his first scholarship offer.
"I think a lot of them want to maybe get him into camp this summer and take that first-hand look at him," Ledford said. "They can see him work out and do the things that he does best."
Townsend says he plans to attend several camps this summer. North Carolina and NC State are the only definite destinations.
Townsend possesses the size and athleticism to play a few positions on the collegiate level. Regardless, Ledford believes quarterback is Townsend's future.
"He has college arm strength – he can throw the ball a long ways and he puts a lot on it when he throws it," Ledford said. "The strength of his arm is the key for him, but he also has the accuracy and decision-making ability."
Townsend has been invited to the Elite 11 tryout camp in Georgia on April 24.
Although early, Townsend has begun to favor NC State.
"I went to NC State for their junior day and it was really nice there," Townsend said. "I like the coaching staff and the campus."
Townsend also attended South Carolina's Junior Day.