For most incoming high school freshmen football players the chances of getting significant playing time on Friday nights are about as good as the Detroit Lions winning the Super Bowl, or even just making it there.
Most freshmen slowly break into the varsity game, learn the system and end up playing JV ball.
Most are mere bystanders on the sidelines when it comes to Friday nights.
Logan High School’s David Early, however, is bucking the usual norms.
Early, the Wildcats’ freshman phenom quarterback, is shouldering a lot responsibility for Logan this fall as the Cats’ projected starter.
Early, also a fine basketball player, had a big season last year for the Logan Middle School football team, passing and rushing for more than 1,000 yards each, scoring 23 touchdowns and passing for 13 more scores.
Early has been getting a lot of reps at practice the last week-plus for the Wildcats and has looked sharp.
Logan is set to open the regular season on Thursday, Aug. 25 at home against county rival Man. The Wildcats have their first preseason test on Aug. 13 at Tug Valley in a triangular scrimmage with the host Panthers and Paintsville (Ky.).
So far, Early has been all that the Logan coaching staff had hoped for.
“You don’t know that he’s a freshman when you see him out there,” Logan 13th-year head coach Gary Mullins said. “Right now, he’s the front-runner to be our starter. He had a great three-week period. He’s been tremendous and he’s been great during practice. He’s got all of the gifts and abilities that a kid can have. Now, he’s working very hard at practice.”
Mullins said Early has made a smooth transition from the middle school game to varsity level football.
“When you get a ninth-grader you don’t know if he will be able to handle the grind of high school football,” he said. “But he’s done a really good job. They did a great job at the middle school teaching him. When you get to high school there’s so much more to learn but he’s doing a great job up until this point.”
Mullins said others are also capable of playing quarterback as well for the Cats.
“Brandon Kinzer, a first year player and a junior, is also playing quarterback,” Mullins said. “He was one of our top six workout guys in the off-season as far as attendance and effort. He’s one of the hardest workers on the team. Daniel Browning has also played some quarterback. He’s a run/pass threat. He can play a lot of positions. He can play quarterback, fullback and wide receiver. We have a couple of other guys, too, that we can put back there.”
(Paul Adkins is the Sports Editor of the Logan Banner. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @PAdkinsBanner).