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Cotey: Change of venue only choice for ex-Zephyrhills QB Guy

Tyler Guy is still looking.

Still wondering.

Still a little shell-shocked.

Some time in the next week or so, Guy expects to enroll at a new high school, to officially land on his feet, which apparently did not move fast enough to man the new offense at his old school, Zephyrhills.

Right now, he is something of a free agent, hoping to find the best fit academically and athletically, to pursue his boyhood dream of playing quarterback in college.

This became impossible at Zephyrhills. New coach Jerrell Cogmon brought in the triple option, and ushered out Guy, a two-year starter.

It was, sadly, almost predictable.

Sure, Cogmon said all the right things, said his team would "go as far as Tyler Guy will take us" and that he was, well, the guy who would be calling the signals under center.

He'd just have to learn how to run a little more, a little faster.

But at 6-foot-6, 220 pounds, he never had a chance, really.

When spring practice ended, when the depth chart was written on the white board, Guy didn't see his name at quarterback.

He saw his brother Jacob's name. He saw a JV kid, and another teammate who was a wide receiver and defensive back the year before.

That's how he says he found out, and that still hurts.

So he left. Angry.

Then he left. For good.

"I definitely didn't want to leave Zephyrhills; I've been there for three years,'' Guy said. "But it was the best move for me."

This is why, when the furor over kids transferring settles down and the issue is rationally analyzed, players like Guy have to be considered.

Does anyone honestly think Guy should have stayed at Zephyr­hills? Does anyone really think he doesn't deserve to play somewhere next year, if he can find a team that will have him?

He was productive for the Bulldogs, a three-sport standout and a leader.

A new coach puts in a new offense and tells the returning quarterback he can't be the starter anymore.

Cogmon has that right, even if you could argue Guy deserved to be told this, rather than reading it on a board in a locker room.

The player, then, should have the right to decline. Especially in this case.

Tyler Guy isn't leaving because he wants to win a state championship elsewhere. Or because he wants to play for a sexier program, like Plant or Hillsborough or Largo.

"I'm leaving because I have to,'' he said. "I mean, being a starter at quarterback for two years and then putting me on the offensive line, that's not much of a choice at all.''

It has been Guy's dream to play quarterback for a college.

"I'm not going to give up on that because one coach thinks I should be an offensive lineman,'' he said.

Cogmon may be right. Maybe Guy isn't college quarterback material.

But Guy says there's only one way — his way — to find out, and it isn't playing offensive tackle.

Prep columnist John C. Cotey can be reached at johncotey@gmail.com.

Cotey: Change of venue only choice for ex-Zephyrhills QB Guy 07/07/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, July 7, 2009 7:56pm]
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