With two freshman quarterbacks leading the pack, Maryville College Football in a peculiar situation. Shaun Hayes, Maryville College head football coach, made it evident in my interview with him that the “two best guys who gave us a chance to win” would play.
He made a point that the two guys who earned the playing time deserved what is being given to them, and that it would be a slap in the face to them if he did not give them their shot at glory.
He is not a coach who is interested in the numbers of the game, but the X’s and O’s and the relationships he has built from becoming a coach. He isn’t worried about which QB has the better numbers, but who will turn into a man and not be afraid to lead other guys.
Nelson Smith Quarterback #21 and Trevor Thomas # 16 have battled through competition, and are accountable for every action that they make to lead their team to victories.
Hayes also noted that there is depth in the quarterback room, as he has experienced QB’s who are fully engaged into the team and are constantly encouraging the two freshman QB’s who are playing now. Smith hales from Hendersonville, TN, and Thomas from Rome, GA.
In an attempt to get to know these plays better, I asked them about their game. Nelson said that, he’d compare himself to Brett Favre and Peyton Manning, because “I’m a gunslinger like Favre and have a mind like Manning.” Thomas says his game reminds him of Russell Wilson, and Johnny Manziel.
Smith came to campus over the summer for a workout and was very surprised by the speed and pace of the workouts. He said it translated over to the field because game play in college is so much faster than in high school.
With Thomas saying his game is similar to Russel Wilson and Johnny Manziel you can imagine his ability to scramble and use of his feet with his quickness is his best skill-set at quarterback. “I don’t take sacks, and I’m very decisive with the ball, and limit my mistakes,” said Thomas.
Smith with the “gunslinger arm” like Favre has a completion percentage of 64% on 48-75 attempts to go along with 4 touchdowns in four games. Smith’s longest completion is for 62 yards with a season efficiency rating at 128.6.
Thomas, whose game is crafted after Manziel, has 39 rushes for 199 yards with his longest run of the season being 39 yards. Averaging 5.1 yards per rush, he has picked up many first downs using his quickness. Those stats came from our school athletic page which is www. mcscots.com/sports.
As the rest of the season continues, this should be something to keep an eye out for as the quarterback battles unravels.
“I can make any throw at any time. Either the pocket, or on the move, my eyes are always down the field, always keeping in mind that I have the ability to tuck and run,” Said Nelson, regarding his skillset.
That versatility is something any coach would love to have. Whether it be Favre, Manning, Wilson, or Manziel, all are great football models to look up to.
Both men admire the tradition Maryville College brings to the table, and the love that the football team receives. They both commented on the fan base, and the feeling it gives them to see fans traveling near or far to support them. They wear Orange and Garnet with pride as they try to please the alumni because they know how much they care for the school.