Polk Prospects: Congdon Coming Into His Own as Braves' QB
Fri. October 19, 2012 at 2:00 a.m. | By Polk Preps Staff
Lake Gibson junior quarterback Trey Congdon won the starting job early in his freshman season. He has emerged as a top quarterback in the county. (Photo by HASANI HARPER | SPECIAL TO THE LEDGER )
By HASANI HARPER
Lake Gibson head coach Keith DeMyer has never had to start a quarterback as early as he had to start junior Trey Congdon.
Congdon has been the Braves' signal caller since his freshman season. That year, he was surrounded with a giant offensive line and top-notch running backs Remi Watson and Shawndell Artis. So coach DeMyer didn't expect for Congdon to do much in that first year except to be a game manager.
"His responsibility once he won the job was to take the ball from center and give it to No. 6 or No. 8," DeMyer said. "The little bit we did throw, we said if it ain't there, then just throw it over the guy's head."
In his sophomore campaign, Congdon was given more control of the offense and he threw for 1,866 yards and 15 touchdowns as the Braves reached the regional quarterfinals with a 8-3 record.
"You could see it as the season went on. He stepped it up somewhat as a sophomore," DeMyer said. "It took him a little bit of time to build into that leadership role. There were still an awful lot of juniors and seniors on the team, and sometimes sophomores feel funny about taking that role. He had his moments where he dealt with what he had to deal with and did a good job with it."
Through seven games this season, Congdon is off to an even better start as the Braves are undefeated, including wins over two opponents they lost to last season — Lake Wales and Winter Haven.
"We're just going week by week and staying focused on the opponent we are playing that week," Congdon said. "We expected everything Lake Wales and Winter Haven showed us. They didn't expect us to air the ball out and mix up the run and just play great football."
The major beneficiary of Congdon's passes has been wide receiver Eric Carter, who has more than 1,421 receiving yards.
"We've played together since little league, and the timing on his throws has always been perfect," Carter said. "I know I'm not the fastest guy and he has a real strong arm, so me running my routes and the ball being right there when I'm open gives me time to make plays and show what I can do to colleges."
DeMyer has been pleased with the progress he has seen in his quarterback but expects him to continue to grow as a player.
"I think he can improve on recognizing when he should throw and when he shouldn't throw," DeMyer said. "Our offense is not an easy offense. We have a lot of verbiage and reading from high to low and corners to safeties on different routes. You ask him a question and he'll know what he has to read. He now has to just speed up that thought process. He has some moments where he gets lost up in that speed and then he'll have moments where he makes great reads. He is hit or miss, and he needs to get better at that, and he will because I've seen the progression since his 10th-grade year when he really had to step up a little bit to now where he is being more refined with that and being quicker."
Despite Congdon's success, college recruitment has been slow. But it's early.
"No schools have really talked to me yet," Congdon said. "I'm just waiting. I know they'll come, so I'll just keep performing until then."
DeMyer said that as long as the Braves keep winning against tough competition, eventually scouts will pursue Congdon.
"Trey is a big, tall, strong-armed kid that can move good in the pocket, and a lot of the schools are looking for that speed athlete that can run around back there," DeMyer said. "I told him a while back to be patient and not worry about it because what you do on the field is the end result and the wins will tell the difference.