Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Preseason attention grabbers: Quarterbacks

Gulf’s Madison Burr got the job done during an impressive sophomore season, and is looking to improve upon it.


Gulf’s Madison Burr got the job done during an impressive sophomore season, and is looking to improve upon it.

Throughout the remainder of August, the Times will take a position-by-position look at the North Suncoast's top players and units. Today we look at the area's best quarterbacks.

The five best

1. Zack Wynn, Jr., Hudson. The most complete quarterback in the area, physically (6-foot-2, 190 pounds) and statistically. Because of Hudson's inexperience at receiver, we're not sure if Wynn will approach his 2007 passing numbers (1,698 yards, 20 TDs), but we see his ground yardage (316 in '07) increasing as the Cobras spread the field and give him space to run.

2. Stevie Weatherford, So., Land O'Lakes. As a freshman, Weatherford shared the job with Ely Payne. Otherwise, he might have thrown for 1,500 yards; as it was he threw for 687 with seven touchdowns and three interceptions. Top targets Jerome Harrison and Nick Castellano graduated, but the Gators always have weapons lurking. And with Weatherford's instincts he is bound to turn an average player into a star.

3. Tyler Guy, Jr., Zephyrhills. The Bulldogs' search for a bona fide rusher should give Guy plenty of opportunities to throw. This multisport star threw for 1,117 yards with seven touchdowns and nine interceptions in his first year as the starter. His 6-foot-7, 220-pound frame gives him the size of a prototype passer, but he can run pretty well when needed.

4. D.J. Clower, Jr., Pasco. The signal caller has really come on over the summer in a seven-on-seven league to give Pasco a true threat behind center. He has the talent to become a 1,000-yard passer after finishing his sophomore year throwing for 876 yards with six touchdowns and five interceptions. And his ability to scramble puts him in this elite group.

5. Madison Burr, Jr., Gulf. Burr showed his resilience as a sophomore, passing for more than 800 yards and rushing for an additional 215 despite periodic pummelings. Now more seasoned and assertive, we see him making noticeable strides this year, especially if his supporting cast is as good as coach Jay Fulmer suggests.

Bound for a breakthrough in Hernando County

Springstead quarterback James Mahla might be a senior, but until this season his teams have lacked luster. Though the Eagles are not a pass-heavy team, he provides the leadership skills necessary to guide any kind of offense.

Bound for a breakthrough in Pasco County

Wiregrass Ranch sophomore James Tringali gave the Bulls a boost last season as a backup and now owns the starting job. He's a pinpoint passer, unafraid to make risky throws that pay off with big gains.

Top passing offenses

1. Pasco. The Pirates rely primarily on D.J. Clower, but Josh Johnson can come in and play the position because he is arguably better than most of the quarterbacks in the area. With plenty of talented targets, Pasco's version of the spread offense creates many opportunities for the Pirates to air it out.

2. Hudson. Wynn has some promising targets on the flank (sophomore Dylan Buono) and out of the backfield (senior JoJo Cimino, left). Problem is, none is terribly experienced.

3. Land O'Lakes. The Gators have been a passing team since Drew Weatherford came through the system at the beginning of this decade. And as the coaches have sifted through what works and what doesn't, Stevie has been on the sidelines since he was a young boy, studying and learning. That knowledge mixed with his ability and the Gators' talent makes Land O'Lakes a true passing threat.

4. Zephyrhills. The Bulldogs have never been afraid to throw, which has helped them overcome limited roster numbers over the years. Tyler Guy has a chance to really shine with the help of players such as Lance Hayes, right, so look for Zephyrhills to take some chances.

5. Ridgewood. The Rams may have a shortage of experience behind center, but there's certainly no dearth of candidates. We see Jimmy Mattos, left, taking the season's first snap, but coach Chris Taylor also can go to ambidextrous Hudson transfer Scott Kujak or promising freshman Bob Peck.

Joey Knight projects the area's top passer to be: Zack Wynn, but only if his surgically repaired knee — and the confidence of his young receivers — holds up.

Izzy Gould projects the area's top passer to be: Stevie Weatherford. This is the third Weatherford quarterback to come through Land O'Lakes, and he always was projected to be better than Drew (at Florida State) and Joe (at UCF). After watching his clutch performances as a freshman, now we know why.

Izzy Gould and Joey Knight, Times staff writers

On the Web

For daily updates on athletes and teams from the

North Suncoast, visit

Preseason attention grabbers: Quarterbacks 08/15/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, August 19, 2008 7:48am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Lightning among early suitors for defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman said he planned to explore free agency for potential needs, which include bolstering his blue line and adding a wing or two.

  2. Roger Mooney's takeaways from Sunday's Rays-Orioles game

    The Heater

    RHP Erasmo Ramirez is not happy about moving back to the bullpen, and can you blame him? But that's the best move for the Rays now. He can fill several roles: long man, setup man, even closer in a pinch. The Rays need to settle the bullpen, and Ramirez has proven he's capable of doing that.

  3. Rays up next: at Pirates, 7:05 p.m. Tuesday, Pittsburgh

    The Heater

    Today: Off

    Up next: at Pirates, 7:05 p.m. Tuesday, PNC Park, Pittsburgh

  4. Rays blow another lead, lose rubber match to Orioles (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The Orioles rallied past the Rays on Sunday, winning the rubber match of the three-game series 8-5.

    Baltimore Orioles second baseman Jonathan Schoop (6) scores in the eighth in the final game of a three-game series between the Tampa Bay Rays and AL East rival the Baltimore Orioles at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, June 25, 2017.
  5. Lightning reach out to UFA Kevin Shattenkirk


    Lightning GM Steve Yzerman said he planned to explore free agency for potential needs, which include bolstering his blueline and adding another wing or two.