Jack West has yet to start a single high school game.
The quarterback ahead of him in 2014, his freshman season at Saraland (Ala.) High School, was Chris Weaver. The dual-threat led the program to the Class 6A title game, where it fell short to Pinson (Ala.) Clay-Chalkville in a thriller before signing with Louisiana-Lafayette.
But West, behind the Spartans routing several teams during the run, saw late action on many Friday nights. Coupled with his size, at 6-foot-3, 210 pounds, the experience turned enough heads to result in a few scholarship offers.
Then it escalated this spring, with Ole Miss, Mississippi State, UCLA and Kentucky among the programs to extend him an offer. While nearly unprecedented in the Yellowhammer State, it hasn’t affected the rising-sophomore’s outlook.
“I still have three years of high school football left, and that’s what I’m focused on. I want to help my team win a state championship, in any way, shape or form. I don’t want to get too ahead of myself and keep grinding,” West said. “I can get better at what I do every day. I train with David Morris and QB Country down here, week-in, week-out. We focus on technique, footwork, school, we’re in the film room and on the field.”
The only school to come by Saraland this spring and not pull the trigger on West, he says, was USC. The Trojans have his No. 1 receiving option committed in wide receiver Velus Jones, and will have him on campus next month.
“I would classify myself as a pocket passer, but a pocket passer with the ability to escape when necessary. I’m not going to say I’m a dual-threat guy, looking to run every play like some guys,” he said. “I like to drop back, read defensed, throw it in there, know when to put zip on the football and throw it over the top. I can pick up on anything very quickly; I can pick up on coverages and blitzes. My arm is one of my strengths, as well; I can make any throw on the field.
“But you can always get better at everything.”
Despite recruiting being on the back-burner of the priority list, West will perform at several camps this summer and see more campuses than he ever has.
“On Tuesday, I’m going to Alabama, that’s a yearly thing,” he said. “I’ll be going to Ole Miss the first few weeks of June, I’ll try Mississippi State, too. Kentucky, who just offered, I would like to see them, too. In mid-June, I’ll be taking a trip to the West Coast to see UCLA, Stanford, Cal and USC. I went up there last summer, to camp at Stanford.”
Venturing back to California, for West, is about much more than honing his throwing skill.
“It’s a totally different world out there. Everything is priced so much higher, so from a living standpoint, it’s so different than living down here,” he said. “The scenery is beautiful, Stanford was amazing. It had an amazing campus. I want to see what these schools offer academically, that’s huge to me. I’ve never made a “B” on a report card and I plan to keep it that way. I have a 4.5 GPA.
“Football is not going to last forever and I want to do something with my life academically. I want to go into political science. California is a big political state, so that will be big to see in what the schools have to offer regarding that study.”
After the busy June, it is back to the training at QB Country before Saraland looks to return to the state title game.