Junior Profile - Johnny DuRocher

Johnny DuRocher is a 6-4, 205-pound quarterback prospect from Spanaway (Wash.) Bethel and Durocher is one of the most successful signal callers in Washington prep football history. Kentwood's Carl Bonnell recently led his Conquerors to three successive semis or better and DuRocher is fully planning on following Bonnell's footsteps.

"I'm a dropback quarterback," he told Dawgman.com.. "I sit back there and throw the ball down the field. My coaches will move me out a little but my line was good this year so I tended to just stay back there."

DuRocher threw for 2300 yards as a junior, throwing 24 touchdowns along the way with only 6 picks to his credit, earning him Tacoma News Tribune All-Area honors. He lost to Bonnell in the 4A semis this past year, the second year in a row he's led Bethel to the semis or better. In 2000, Bethel lost to Pasco in the state 4A championship game.

"They say I have quick feet, good decision-making and have a strong arm," DuRocher said when asked feedback he's received from coaches. "I think I can make all the throws. I set up pretty quickly." Joey Harrington and Ken Dorsey are the immediate comparisons when watching DuRocher play. He has no testing numbers to date.

And why not? QB is the only position he knows. "I've been playing it since the 7th grade," he said. "It's the only position I play. I love quarterback. That's where I want to play. I love the pressure. You have to play well to make your team go and I like that. You have to be ready to go every week."

How would his Bethel teammates describe his demeanor? "They would tell you I'm calm and I don't get rattled when things go my way," said Johnny. "Hopefully they would say I'm tough too because when I get knocked down I get right back in there and get ready to go the next play."

Going into his third year as Bethel's starter, things are becoming second-nature for Johnny, but it wasn't always that way. "It was really tough," he said. "My sophomore year they had just had their best season ever. The quarterback, Javid Shoemaker was SPSL South MVP so I knew I had to come in and step it up or they would think we were going to have a down year. Everyone was really supportive. The upperclassmen took me in. The first couple of weeks were shaky because I was trying to impress them, but once I got to know them I loosened up and then it was like, 'Let's go play some football'.

Johnny is almost as adept at hoops as he is football, scoring 13 points and 8 boards per game for the Braves.

You might think it's pretty early to think about recruiting, but Johnny admits that it's already begun for him, even if it's just in the preliminary stages. "It's started a little bit," he said. "Coaches have come by the school asking for film and they've been giving me media guides and stuff like that." The schools that have been by Bethel include Stanford, Arizona, Oregon and Arizona State.

If you think the hometown school is forgetting about DuRocher, think again. They got a two-year head start. "My first letter was from Washington (U-Dub)," Johnny said. "I was so happy. I got it at Charles Wright in the 9th grade when I was going there. I went and called up my Dad and my Grandpa when I got it."

And the second letter he received? "It was from Oregon," he said.

Right now, Johnny doesn't have any offers, but don't expect that to last very long.

And camps? "I'm going to the University of Oregon camp and the U-Dub camp for sure."

Besides the Huskies and Ducks, the other schools DuRocher is thinking about all have a West Coast slant to them. "Stanford is kind of intriguing," he said. "Arizona State too. And UCLA. I like UCLA a lot."

But the regional schools look to have an early edge. "Washington is a big-time program and they are so close to home," he said. "Oregon has a great tradition of sending quarterbacks to the NFL."

Steve Dildine, a Washington State signee, went through the recruiting process this past season. Did Johnny gain any insight from Steve's recruitment? "Not really," he said. "His recruiting was pretty low-key. He got a couple of phone calls from the U and Washington State and a couple of other schools, but he liked Wazzu so he committed early."

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