ST. PETERSBURG — Greg Spann is exactly two games into his role as Lakewood High's starting quarterback, but it looks as if the Spartans don't have to worry about that position for the next three years. A sophomore, Spann has shown signs of being a dual threat even though this is really his first year under center.
Spann, 6 feet 4, 180 pounds, played all of two games as the junior varsity quarterback last season until he dislocated his right elbow in a game against Dixie Hollins. That ended his season, but he was able to return in the spring and was impressive enough to be named the starter.
"He's confident and has a strong arm," said senior receiver Troy'von Johnson, who was Lakewood's quarterback last season. "He's going to get you the ball as long as he settles down."
Spann was a receiver in youth league, but his strong arm, size and speed prompted his move to quarterback.
He also has football in his family. His father, Greg, played at Jackson State and was drafted by Jacksonville as a receiver in 1996. Spann is known as "Deuce" because he is Greg Spann II. Logically, he would wear No. 2 but he wears No. 1 because his favorite player is Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton.
In his first two games, Spann has thrown for two touchdowns and had a touchdown run against St. Petersburg. The Spartans beat Boca Ciega in his first game as a starter, but Lakewood blew a 19-point lead in a 28-19 loss to St. Petersburg last week. Spann threw a 25-yard TD pass and ran in a 13-yarder.
"I'd say I'm a dual-threat," Spann said. "I like to run more than I like to throw. I can throw, but I like to score. But really, I just like to win."
So far, Lakewood coach Cory Moore is impressed with Spann. Despite his inexperience, Moore isn't afraid to call pass plays. In fact, he encourages Spann to use his arm more than his legs.
"He's not afraid of contact so that's why he likes to run," Moore said. "I'm trying to teach him that it's better for his longevity to rely on his arm. He throws the ball so fluidly."
Lakewood hasn't had a true quarterback since Ryan Davis left for Auburn two years ago. Davis transferred from Northeast as a junior and Moore said it took him time to get used to the offense. He expects that kind of transition time for Spann. He threw for only 40 yards against the Green Devils and had two interceptions.
"It wasn't really until his fifth game with us that it really started to click for Ryan," Moore said. "Then it was lights out. Greg's only played two games. He's going to be good, man. And the great thing I like about Deuce is that I can coach him in different ways and he's consistent. He doesn't get down. He's just yes sir, no sir."
Moore said he has already gotten calls from schools like Georgia and Clemson. Spann said he isn't worried about recruiting just yet. In fact, he's not really worried about much on the football field.
"I'm not really nervous before the games," he said. "It's just fun. It feels like little league to me. I'm used to playing against people who are older than me."