Position breakdown: Pinellas quarterbacks

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Mon. August 2, 2010 | Bob Putnam | Email

As the 2010 prep football season approaches, the Times will break down each position in the county. Today we take a look at quarterback.

Top returners
1. Shaquille Bradford, Boca Ciega:
Entering his third year as a starter, Bradford is one of the most experienced quarterbacks in the county. He threw for 1,500 yards and 20 touchdowns last season. With a veteran group of receivers and an offensive line that returns intact, Bradford has all the tools around him to put up even bigger numbers this season.
2. Juwan Brown, Largo: Last season, Brown emerged as perhaps the county’s best dual-threat quarterback, averaging 157 yards per game and leading the Packers to the Class 4A region semifinals. He will be counted on as the leader on offense as most of the playmakers graduated.
3. Nick Newton, Clearwater Central Catholic: A versatile offensive threat, Newton started four games as a receiver and six games at quarterback in 2009. He is now the full-time starter at QB and will be working with new coach John Davis, who has a knack for developing quarterbacks.
4. Jesse Hevia, Pinellas Park: A veteran quarterback, Hevia has started at least one game in each of his first three seasons. Operating in a ball-control wing-T attack, Hevia didn’t get to throw the ball much last year. But that should change with coach Kenny Crawford striving for more balance.
5. Billy Pavlock, Palm Harbor University: The Hurricanes’ top returning rusher and passer, Pavlock can move the chains in a variety of ways. He played well in Largo’s 7-on-7 tournament this summer, leading PHU to a title.
6. Ryan Hagen, Clearwater: A second-year starter, Hagen will get plenty of opportunities to be among the county’s passing leaders, thanks to a quarterback-friendly spread attack that has a talented receiving corps.
7. Louis Pappas, Tarpon Springs: Taking over as the starter near midseason in 2009, Pappas got the Spongers to cruise to a district title and advance to the 4A region finals. In the spring, he had a strong first half against Lakeland.
8. Jimmy Van Deilen, Northside Christian: A strong-armed passer, Van Deilen threw for more than 1,000 yards, ran for more than 600 and accounted for 22 touchdowns last season. Despite a lot of newcomers on offense, he still should produce.
9. David Jones, St. Petersburg: Because of a run-oriented offense, Jones doesn’t air it out often. But he has a penchant for making big plays.

Biggest battles
1. Lakewood:
Alphonso Evans was the starter in the spring, but he’ll be pushed by freshman Jock Ellison for playing time.
2. Gibbs: Devontae White and Devontay Williams are each trying to replace Josh Rembert, a first-team, all-county selection last year. The competition is so close that coach Donnie Abraham might use both.
3. Shorecrest: Dakota Hirsch took over for Hunter Tremaine and led the Chargers on five scoring drives in the spring. Hirsch will be pushed by Jaime Quezon for playing time when practice begins Monday.

Keep an eye on
1. Gray Crow, Countryside: A transfer from Ocala Trinity Catholic, Crow takes over for the graduated Jimbo Chmelik. Last season Crow threw for 20 touchdowns. With the Cougars, he’ll have great protection with one of the best offensive lines in the county. But it could take a while to click with his targets considering Countryside lost so many receivers and running backs.
2. Pete Dinovo, East Lake: The sophomore already has won the starting job and has shined at camps this summer.
3. Rayshawn Jenkins, Admiral Farragut: Though he is starting at quarterback for the first time, Jenkins has a firm grasp of the offense and played well in the spring and 7-on-7 tournaments.
4. Anthony Diviney, Dunedin: He took care of the ball in an upset of Lakewood in the spring and has some tall targets in the passing game.
5. Eli Pedigo, Northeast: After taking some snaps as a first-time starter last season, Pedigo should improve with a deep lineup around him.
6. Jayln Coleman, Keswick Christian: A multidimensional force, Coleman should thrive with a more experienced offensive line protecting him.

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