DADE CITY — One of the top passing careers in North Suncoast history began with a secret move made by a family friend a dozen years ago.
If his older brother hadn’t been signed up for peewee football behind his grandma’s back, Jacob Guy wouldn’t be starring at quarterback for unbeaten Pasco heading into Friday’s playoff game against Alachua Santa Fe.
Guy’s father, David, was a beefy boy who grew to 6-foot-4, but his mother wouldn’t let him play football because his dad hurt his neck in high school.
“He raced motorcycles, but he couldn’t play football,” longtime friend Steve Glavich said.
Neither could Tyler or Jacob, even if they inherited their father’s size.
But when Tyler turned 7, Glavich quietly signed up the boy for his peewee team — and told the boy’s father after the fact. The Guys would play football, and Glavich would take the blame from Grandma.
“I guess it was a good move,” Guy said.
Tyler, is a walk-on tight end at USF. Younger brother Jacob was the St. Petersburg Times’ North Suncoast offensive player of the year last season and is faring even better this fall.
Guy leads Tampa Bay with 33 touchdown passes — six shy of Drew Weatherford’s single-season North Suncoast record from 2002 — and has thrown only four interceptions.
The senior ranks second in Tampa Bay in completion percentage (68.2 percent) and fifth in yards (1,834), even though blowout victories kept him from playing all four quarters in seven of Pasco’s 10 games.
“He’s just an all-around leader, football player and the intuitive individual you need to have at that position,” Pirates coach Tom McHugh said.
The little brother tried to beat Tyler in everything. Tyler had two years and several inches on Jacob, so he dominated at basketball — and still does. Jacob holds the edge in video games. Everything became a duel.
“Who gets the last biscuit at supper is a competition,” their father said.
After Glavich signed up Tyler for his team, football became the new battleground in the sibling rivalry.
The brothers threw around in the front yard regularly, and Tyler became a quarterback at Zephyrhills and Freedom. Jacob played against Tyler’s older friends, forcing him to grow up quickly.
“None of these kids around Dade City like to lose,” Guy said, “so you’re going to have to step up and play a better game.”
And Guy got better.
Years of throwing with his brothers’ friends developed one of the county’s strongest arms. His two 40-plus-yard bombs to Trey Dudley-Giles were the only touchdowns in a 17-0 preseason victory over playoff-bound Hernando.
Even in peewee football, Guy was poised in the pocket as he led his team to only one loss in four years.
“Ice water in his veins,” said Glavich, his youth coach.
That coolness has continued in high school. He doesn’t force throws and he knows when to dump the ball to his stable of Division I athletes and let them make plays.
When Land O’Lakes’ defense swarmed Pasco’s offensive line in the first half, Guy checked down to Janarion Grant and David Emmanuel. They turned a close game into a rout with three second-half touchdown catches.
“A lot of that’s God given,” McHugh said.
The poise carries over into the rest of his life. Guy was calm as a pitcher in championship youth league games. He’s relaxed in the huddle and cool in the classroom.
“He almost never gets flustered; it’s amazing,” his dad said. “Except probably when he’s competing against his brother.”
Competing against Tyler made Guy a Division I prospect. Ohio, UMass and Western Michigan have offered the 6-foot-5, 205-pounder, although some think he could play at a bigger program.
“It blows my mind that that’s all he has,” Rivals.com analyst Chris Nee said of Guy’s offers.
Guy said he’d like to play at a big-name program, and maybe he still can. A deep playoff run would cement his legacy in Pasco County — and attract bigger recruiters to Dade City to continue a football career that almost never began.
“We can only do what we can,” Jacob said. “This is the time for us to shine, in the playoffs.”
Staff writer Matt Baker can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
One of the best
Here’s how Pasco QB Jacob Guy’s numbers compare with Drew Weatherford’s 2002 season for Land O’Lakes:
Guy: 101-of-148; 68.2 percent; 1,834 yards; 33 TDs; 4 INTs; 10-0 record
Weatherford: 162-of-249; 65.0 percent; 2,645 yards; 39 TDs, 6 INTs; 12-1 record
Friday’s matchups. All games at 7:30 p.m.
• Alachua Santa Fe at Pasco
• Fivay at North Marion
• Gainesville at Hernando
• Sunlake at Ocala Vanguard