The higher up you get in the sports world, the less likely you are to play multiple positions. It’s even less likely that you have to switch from one position to another, although it does happen on occasion. In high school players switch positions all the time, as size plays a huge factor as to how coaches use certain players.
Alcovy’s sophomore starting quarterback Quindrelin Hammonds is playing QB for the first time ever. He was forced into the role after former quarterback Armon ‘Bubba’ Hickson transferred schools.
Just last year, Hammonds was a receiver, which you could probably tell by the speed Hammonds has when he’s running the read option in Alcovy’s offense. That same speed that helped him on a 21-yard touchdown run against Lamar County Friday night.
“I faked to the outside and coach always tells me, ‘Keep it tight. Keep it tight. No matter what, keep it tight. Trust your o-line.’ And my teammates picked up great blocks on the edge and I just took it to the house,” Hammonds said after the game.
The touchdown run was a testament to how Hammonds has gotten better since week one. He finished the game with 47 yards rushing and he was 1/6 for 33 yards passing with an interception. Those aren’t eye-popping numbers, but Hammonds growth isn’t statistical – it’s cerebral.
“There’s not a lot of 10th graders that’ll sit in the pocket and step up in the pocket and throw,” Kirk Hoffman, Alcovy head coach, said. “That’s what he’s learning to do. He’s making good reads. He found some holes in there. He was kind of timid early, now he’s getting what he can and getting down and that shows signs of a quarterback maturing.”
Again, Hammonds stats don’t jump off the page, although he did have eight rush attempts for 47 yards and his only completion was for a first down on third and long, but that has a lot to do with the game being controlled by the clock as both teams ran the ball frequently so there wasn’t much time for Hammonds to boost his statistics.
One of Hammonds incompletions was a beautiful throw deep to Erin Mccalpine that Mccalpine just couldn’t bring in.
When running the ball, Hammonds showed patience and made smart reads of when to run it and when to hand if off to the back. Those decisions impacted the game immensely, as it allowed Alcovy to keep the clock moving by running the ball well.
Hammonds’ growth isn’t done yet, but he’s shown signs of improvement and that’s all the Tigers can ask for from a second-year player in his first year in a new role.
“It was hard,” Hammonds said of his switch to quarterback. “Usually I’m on the other end of the pass so I really don’t have to worry about some of the assignments. I was kind of nervous at the beginning, but I had to fight through it.”
Hammonds notices how he’s gotten better to. He was sacked a couple times on the night, but his pocket presence was decent. He needs to learn to get the ball out quicker in throwing situations, but he wasn’t always trying to take off like a lot of young mobile quarterbacks would be.
“It’s a lot,” Hammonds said regarding his development. “A younger version of me, if I see a defender come off the line a little bit I’m automatically going, but now I learned how to work the pocket, trust my offensive line, keep my eyes down the field and make the throw.”
“I feel like now I trust my teammates more in what I do,” Hammonds added. “I’m more patient on some stuff and I’m less likely to run all the time like I used to.”
Alcovy didn’t get the win, but for a team that lost its 17th game in a row, the Tigers should be feeling really good about what could be. If there are any moral victories, Alcovy definitely has one in Hammonds’ growth.