Last year the Cactus Cobras quietly worked their way to the state championship game, leading big in the first half only to lose the game to Moon Valley. If they are to return to the state championship much of the responsibility will fall to senior QB Jon Tobin.
24-7: What were your stats last season?
Jon Tobin: 106 of 255 pass completions. 1,600 yards passing with 13 touchdowns and 12 interceptions and 10 Rushing touchdowns.
24-7: What are you guys going to do to try to get back to the state championship game?
Jon Tobin: Becoming a better team, not having clicks, come together as a team and really try to finish it this time.
24-7: Who are some of the players we need to watch out for next year returning to Cactus?
Jon Tobin: Both of our sophomore wide receivers are going to be amazing. Jordan Flores and Manuel Solarez. He (Solarez) has a lot of talent we just have to get some size on him. Our running back, Richard Morris, our backup QB Tim Lyerla. A lot of guys are coming back and a lot of the young guys are going to be a big part of the offense next year.
24-7: How tall are you and what do you weigh?
Jon Tobin: 6'4 or 6'5 and about 190 or 195.
24-7: What are your lifting totals?
Jon Tobin: Bench 230, Clean 230, Squat 300 and my last forty time was a 4.8.
24-7: Who were some of the best players you played against this past season?
Jon Tobin: The defensive line at Centennial. A bunch of tough guys there. The linebacker at Shadow Mountain #40 (Derrick Hannifin) and the defensive line from Moon Valley.
24-7: Regarding football what is the best advice you have ever received?
Jon Tobin: Don't go out there worried about making mistakes, go out there playing to have fun. That is something Coach Fetkenhier tells us every Friday night to go out there and have fun.
24-7: As a quarterback what do you feel you improved on the most this past season?
Jon Tobin: My mechanics. Coach Fetkenhier and I went over this and this is what we think improved the most.
24-7: What do you need do to improve as a quarterback for next season?
Jon Tobin: Footwork, mechanics and keeping the morale of the team up. Persevere through everything.
24-7: What are you doing to improve your footwork and mechanics?
Jon Tobin: We started working out January 3rd. We are doing a lot of speed training. Me personally, I'm doing a lot of jump roping. I'm trying to work on my mechanics and footwork more. Working on balance. I stand on a board/balance bar and throw off of one foot to work on my balance. I have tapes of last years games that I look over to check my reads.
24-7: Being the senior starting QB how will your leadership role change next season?
Jon Tobin: There will be a lot of young guys coming up looking to me more. The offensive line will be looking to me to make more plays than I did last year.
24-7: What is it like to be part of the tradition of great quarterbacks at Cactus?
Jon Tobin: I've been around Coach Fetkenhier since I was in 5th grade. I was a ball boy at Cactus so I remember watching (Jonathan) Beasley play, watching Stoner play. It was amazing watching all the things they could do and thinking, coming up this is what I want to do. It is something good that I finally got my chance to do it (QB at Cactus) but there is a lot of weight on your shoulders. You have to live up to their numbers and what they did and what their teams did. Last year was a good year, but now I have one year under my belt, if I work as hard as I have to I feel it can happen.
24-7: How does it help you as a QB having a big back like Richard Morris?
Jon Tobin: It is nice to know that if its 3rd and 1 we can run the ball. It is nice to know that if we want to run the option with him we have the ability to run the option. We can run the veer or triple option with Richard.
24-7: Looking at your statistics and your comments in this interview how do you plan on becoming a more accurate QB and get your completion percentage in the 50 to 60+ range?
Jon Tobin: Coach Fetkenhier went to Utah and he talked to their quarterback Alex Smith and asked him why is he so accurate. We run the same offense as Utah so I work on throwing the passing tree. I do a lot of repetitions and will throw the same route in a single day then the next time I throw I will throw another route the whole time. Doing the same thing numerous times and a bunch of repetitions.
24-7: Speaking of Utah, knowing the similarities of your offense and their offense have they shown any interest in you coming to play for them?
Jon Tobin: They have not sent me anything. Coach has said that if I'm going to play at a D1 school I should go someplace where I will fit in the offense. Utah was one of the schools he mentioned also UNLV and New Mexico.
24-7: Currently who have you been contacted by regarding recruitment?
Jon Tobin: UofA, ASU is sending me stuff. Colorado, Duke. Northwestern has my game film.
24-7: Of the schools that have contacted you which ones are you most interested in?
Jon Tobin: Given the situation right now one school I would go to for sure would be UofA. I love it (UofA) He (Mike Stoops) is a great coach. They are going to have a great team and it would be an honor to play for Coach Stoops. So of the school that have contacted me UofA, ASU, Texas A&M, Colorado, those are the main ones that I would go to. I would like to stay in the Pac 10.
24-7: Would you prefer to stay in state?
Jon Tobin: I would like to stay in state. If I had to go out of state I would like it to be someplace west. California, Texas, New Mexico. Also some place where I would fit into their offense.
24-7: Because you run a college style offense do you feel that helps you regarding recruitment?
Jon Tobin: It does. But it also depends on how well I do completing the ball. Last year I completed around 42% of my passes. If we spread the ball out and fundamentally and mechanically I complete more of my passes it will help me in college. If I do not do what I need to do it is not going to happen at all.
24-7 would like to thank Jon and the Cactus staff for helping with this interview.