All-Around Talent

The current head coach of West Virginia's latest verbal commitment for the Class of 2008 shares his thoughts with BlueGoldNews.com in this exclusive interview.

There's no doubt that the Mountaineers picked up a solid football player on Wednesday with the commitment of Handley (Va.) High School quarterback J.J. Dorsey. According to Dorsey's head coach, the blue and gold have also picked up a very good kid.

"He's got a great demeanor," head coach Tony Rayburn told BlueGoldNews.com on Wednesday evening. "He's very well-mannered. Everything he says is ‘Yes sir, no sir.' He's also a very hard worker.

"He's more of a quiet leader," continued Rayburn. "J.J. doesn't say a whole lot, but he says what he needs to say. It's easy to play with a guy who, although he may be the star of the team, works just as hard if not harder as anyone on the team. He's humble, very humble. He's truly a team player."

Forgive Rayburn if he's a little bit biased. It's just that Dorsey has meant so much to the Judges over the past few years that the head coach honestly had nothing but good things to say about him as a player and a person.

While his primary position is quarterback, it's not the only spot on the field that Dorsey has played in his Handley career. Wherever the team has needed him to fill in over the past four years, he's been ready and willing to do so at the drop of a hat.

"He can play just about any position," noted the coach. "As a freshman, he played outside at receiver because we had another quarterback already. At receiver, they couldn't stop him. He also played some outside linebacker as a freshman.

"He's played a little bit of a defensive back for us, but not a whole lot because we were pretty deep back there. Whatever position he plays, he's a competitor. He's an athlete who can play just about anything."

Make no mistake about it, though. Dorsey is first and foremost a quarterback for Rayburn and the Judges. As a junior, the talented signal caller threw for 1,676 yards and 11 touchdowns while adding 1,255 yards and 22 scores as the primary ball carrier for Handley. Playing behind a brand new offensive line as part of an offense that featured five freshmen, Dorsey led his team to a very respectable 7-4 record. With his ability to make plays with his arm and with his feet, he's the perfect fit for Handley's spread offense, which is similar to the strategy in Morgantown.

"We've been doing it for a while now," Rayburn said of the spread. "We try to tailor it a little bit here and there depending on our players. (Dorsey) took over for a kid who is in junior college now that is similar to him with the ability to run and pass. His first year at quarterback, he had just learned to throw the ball. Halfway through the year he was throwing the ball really well. He makes improvement from year to year."

Rayburn is hoping that Dorsey's skills as a quarterback and a leader will payoff even more in his senior season. Either way, he'll go down in school history as one of the best players to ever come out of Handley.

"We have some excellent players in this area," Rayburn said. "It's growing so fast that there is a lot of talent. He's definitely one of the best players that we've ever had, but it's still really exciting for us to have someone go to a school as successful as WVU."

NOTE: Prior to last season, Rayburn and his staff scouted the scrimmage of an opponent. On that day, their opponent happened to be scrimmaging Osbourn High from Manassas. Of course Osbourn at the time featured WVU signee Brandon Hogan at quarterback. Like Dorsey, Hogan is a dual-threat playmaker.

"They are very similar players," Rayburn said of Hogan and Dorsey. "That kid led his team to a state title, and he's a phenomenal talent. J.J. is very similar to him."


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