One of Hernando’s biggest challenges this spring is to find a replacement for Tyrail Hawkins, the do-it-all athlete who lined up everywhere from quarterback to defensive back to returner and signed with Georgia Southern. • “We won’t have just that one guy,” Leopards coach Dwayne Mobley said. “We’ve got some guys that we can put in a lot of different positions, too.” • Starting with Ra’shaad Hart.
The 6-foot-3, 210-pound senior spent time with Hawkins at quarterback and threw for a touchdown. Hart could see snaps there again this fall, alongside John Coleman.
“He’s very fast, so he can get around anywhere,” Leopards offensive lineman Connor Foradas said. “You just block and make a hole, and he’s there.”
The athleticism that helped Hart lead the basketball team in rebounding (8.6 per game) is giving him opportunities all over the football field. He rushed for two touchdowns as a junior and was second to Hawkins with 570 rushing yards, so he’s a running threat out of the backfield.
Hart could again see time at receiver after catching two touchdowns last fall, and he said he’s feeling more comfortable in the secondary after recording a fumble recovery and an interception at safety in 2012.
Mobley said Hart’s biggest emerging role is in the locker room and on the practice field, as a much-needed leader for a program looking for its fourth consecutive playoff appearance.
“It’s my year,” Hart said. “I gotta step up and take it to ‘em.”
By the numbers: Pasco
91 Tackles by LB Brandon Debyah as a sophomore — most on the team
77 Career touchdowns by Rutgers-bound senior Janarion Grant, the North Suncoast’s all-time TD leader
45 Consecutive wins against Pasco County opponents
12 Touchdown passes thrown by Ben Chandler as a junior
5 Punts returned for touchdowns last fall by Division-I prospect Malik Johns
6 College offers WR Nate Craig has landed since the end of his freshman season
4 Trips to the region semifinals or beyond since 2008
“From my mentality and a play-calling mentality, it’s kinda like being a kid in a candy store. You got the run and you got the pass. What are you gonna do?” — Anclote coach Matt Wicks on an offense starring 1,400-yard rusher Willie Barrett and big receiving targets Austin Rumer and Tymere and Shymere Carter
Tennessee became the second SEC program to offer Pasco sophomore-to-be receiver Nate Craig. Mississippi State is one of the five other schools that have offered him so far.