High school football previews: Ranking QBs poised for a big 2014, No. 3

dmitchell@ledger-enquirer.comJuly 9, 2014 

Editor's note: Whether a team runs a Wing-T, triple option, the power-I or a pro set, the man under center is the most important person on the field. He'll direct the traffic and, in theory, get the ball where it needs to go. This week, the Valley Preps Blog will take a look at a few of the Bi-City signal callers who are poised for big seasons in 2014.

JAY ROBERTS

Team: Brookstone

Class: Sophomore

Ht.: 5-11

Wt: 185

Last year's stats: 75 of 160 for 1,052 yards, 12 touchdowns and 3 interceptions; 1 rushing touchdown (in 6 games)

Career stats: (See above)

Recruiting info: N/A

Why he's on the list: Much like Webb, Roberts is simply too green to make any solid predictions about his production in 2014.

He’s played only six varsity games in 2013 and showed a lot of good and some that he’ll undoubtedly have to iron out.

Starting with the good, you’ve got to like his poise. He was thrown into the fire in the second half of his freshman season for a team that was clinging to its spot in the Class A playoff race.

All Roberts did was take a team with a 2-3 record and lead it to a 4-1 finish in its final five regular season games to clinch a playoff berth. Its 51-0 loss to Prince Avenue Christian in the first round of the postseason shouldn’t be ignored, but also shouldn’t be blown out of proportion.

I talked to Brookstone coach Brad Dehem on Tuesday about Roberts, and he confirmed there is good reason to be excited about the young quarterback going into this season.

He’s already packed on 15-20 pounds of muscle, grown (as you’d expect) and hasn’t missed a single day of workouts. He’s hitting the weight room hard, has gotten faster and improved arm strength and is incredibly motivated to become a real leader in the offense in his second year.

Dehem would love that. But he’d also like to see some pressure taken off the quarterback. Last year, he said, Roberts’ passing yardage and touchdown totals were inflated because of the need to rely on the passing game. This year, he’d like the offense to be more consistent on the ground and not have to rely so much on Roberts.

Which leads to one of the areas the quarterback will try to improve: his efficiency. Rather than the big yardage, Dehem wants to see the completion percentage, which was 47 percent last year, rise a substantial amount.

Limiting the stress on the passing game will likely do that.

Either way, Brookstone appears to have a quarterback that can lead the team for the foreseeable future, and that will make any coach a little more comfortable.

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