After a week of highlighting area playmakers, we wrap up our eight-part preseason position rankings series with the Big Country’s best signal callers.
To complete our look at the area’s top players, we’ve ranked our top 10 quarterbacks with a list of others to watch in 2020.
We hope you enjoy this list and that you’ve enjoyed our position rankings as we get set to kickoff a new season.
One of the area’s top middle linebackers since his sophomore year, Morrison got pressed into the starting quarterback role late last season when then-senior Mason Fuchs went down with an injury. All he did was lead the Hawks to four wins in five games and a trip to the Region I-3A Division I quarterfinals.
In rushing for 486 yards and eight touchdowns, this 6-foot-3 senior showed strong command of Wall’s flexbone option game. If he can make some strides as a passer this season, he could be poised for one of the best campaigns by a WHS quarterback in recent memory.
Playing behind an undersized and oft-injured offensive line in 2019, Valentine made the most of a tough situation in his first year as the Bulldogs’ starter. Sharing time behind center with fellow junior Jaxon Hansen early in the season, he eventually won the QB job outright, passing for 1,283 yards with an 11-to-4 touchdown-to-interception ratio.
The senior, who also rushed for 164 yards and two scores, should enjoy better protection and a stronger running game this fall, which should only improve his production.
Taking over the Ballinger starting spot late last season, Vaughn showed off a nice skill set, passing for 670 yards, rushing for 307 and accounting for 12 total touchdowns.
Now the leader of the Bearcat offense, this dual-threat senior should have a big year with the weapons he has around him.
Now in his third year as the Bulldogs’ starter, Neuman will be leaned on more heavily than ever by coach Scott Campbell and his Clyde teammates.
This senior hit 81 of 140 passes for 1,229 yards and 12 touchdowns while rushing for 229 yards and six more scores a year ago, but you can expect bigger numbers this season as CHS opens up its offense to account for heavy graduation losses on defense.
Another true dual-threat quarterback, Rodela topped 1,000 yards passing and rushing in leading the Bearcats to their best season in school history a year ago.
In passing for 1,208 and 18 touchdowns and rushing for 1,175 and 18 more scores, this senior established himself as one of the top signal callers in the Big Country and set a high bar for his final high school season.
Some Big Country football fans may recognize this senior from his time as the Big Spring quarterback in 2018. But two years and two schools later, this coach’s kid is ready to lead the Bangs Dragons to big things in 2020.
After passing for 1,870 yards and 17 touchdowns as a sophomore at Big Spring, Cortez played for Farmersville in 2019. Now a senior, he should add a strong passing element to an offense that features one of the Big Country’s top backs in fellow senior Ethan Sanchez.
Another third-year starter, Thompson brings both experience and success to Cooper’s quarterback position. The 6-3 senior made major strides last season, hitting 164 of 281 passes for 2,035 yards with a 19-to-7 touchdown-to-interception ratio, and he’ll be expected to be even more productive this fall.
Still playing alongside standout running back Noah Garcia, Thompson is half of one of the Big Country’s most talented backfield tandems.
Speaking of experience and success, Hamlin’s star quarterback is back for one more go-round after leading the Pied Pipers to their first state championship game in school history.
Coming off a junior campaign in which he hit 152 of 231 passes for 2,481 yards with 30 touchdowns and just six interceptions while adding 500 yards rushing, this senior standout could have his best season yet in 2020.
After being thrown into the fire before he was really ready for varsity ball as a freshman, Holsey showed as a sophomore why coach Ben McGehee had such confidence in him.
In just 11 games, the dual-threat junior passed for 2,658 yards with 32-to-12 touchdown-to-interception ratio and rushed for 635 yards and 11 more TDs, leading one of the most explosive offenses in all of the Big Country. With several of his top weapons back, Holsey and the Mustang offense could be scary good in 2020.
Bound for Texas Tech after this season, Morton remains the gold standard for Big Country quarterback talent.
Now in his fourth season as a varsity regular, the 6-3 senior will try to build on a junior campaign that saw him complete 173 of 287 passes for 2,754 yards and 29 touchdowns while rushing for 177 yards and six additional TDs.
OTHERS TO WATCH
Abel Ramirez, Jr., Abilene High; Gabriel Baeza, Jr., Big Spring; Leeroy Tavarez, Sr., Snyder; Tate Yardley, Jr., Jim Ned; Jaxon Gleaton, Sr., Brock; Hudson Welch, Jr. Comanche; Isaac Brann, Sr., Anson; Major Stockton, Jr., Forsan; Sawyer Stallings, Jr, Forsan; Zhawn Holden, Sr., Stamford; Corbin Rosales, Sr., Coleman; Trey Lopez, Jr., De Leon; Jackson Patrick, Jr., Goldthwaite; Risien Shahan, Jr., San Saba; Alex Salas, Sr., Winters; Antonio Aguayo, Jr., Roscoe; Cason Allen, Jr., Cross Plains; Case Procter, Jr., Santo
BIG COUNTRY PREPS POSITION RANKINGS
Wednesday — Defensive linemen
Thursday — Linebackers
Friday — Defensive backs
Saturday — Kickers/Punters
Sunday — Offensive linemen
Monday — Wide receivers/tight ends
Tuesday — Running backs
Today — Quarterbacks