Lobo quarterbacks making strong case
May 24, 2014 at 4:46 p.m.
JaMycal Hasty ecstatically screamed 'Tailback U' from the sidelines one practice this spring when a freshman running back shook off a pair of pursuers for a big gain.
The Baylor commit is right, the Lobos have a long and storied line of tailbacks that have donned the Rockin' L and 2014 is set to carry that tradition forward.
While Longview has established itself as a perennial running power, the Lobos' play at quarterback is an area that has proved to be equally as potent.
Dezmond Chumley, who is preparing for his third year as the Lobos' starter, picked up his first collegiate offer on Wednesday from the University of Central Arkansas.
With the Bears coming calling for Chumley, every starter since offensive coordinator Chris Vallery took the reigns in 2010 has received a collegiate scholarship opportunity, signifying the beginning of the rise of the quarterback at Longview.
"Coach Vallery has a strong understanding of the game and just has a demeanor working and developing those guys at quarterback," Longview head coach John King said. "He played the position at a high level in high school and played collegiately as well so he understands the emotions that are involved at quarterback and that's a big part.
"He has a way of getting his point across, not just to the quarterback but to all the kids -- just a tremendous coach."
In the 2013 season, the Lobos passed the ball once every three plays and amassed 45 percent of its total offense through the air, finishing with 2,368 yards and 34 passing touchdowns.
"We've made a conscience effort to throw the ball more than we have in the past," King said. "It all depends on who's throwing it, who's catching it and who's blocking but it's become a vital part of our offense."
It helps that all three quarterbacks under Vallery's tenure have added a strong running ability to the mix as well. Ladarrin Robertson (Texas Tech), Bivins Caraway (Louisiana Monroe, Navarro) and Chumley all share an equal ability throwing the ball as well as with their feet.
"They've all three been different quarterbacks," King said. "Running the ball was Peterson's strong suite. Bivins has a tremendous arm -- probably one of the strongest we've had. Dezmond is a mix of those two -- he's a little bit faster and the ability to make things happen when he pulls up sets him apart."
Chumley showed the speed and mobility throughout the spring, both during football practice and on the baseball diamond, where he has the opportunity to be a dual-sport athlete for Central Arkansas.
"Dezmond was extremely excited about the opportunity and he should have been," King said. "It's sometimes hard to get that first one and then it seems like it all falls into place. He's definitely a college-caliber quarterback and will be college ready. We think more of those opportunities will come and we're going to help him the best we can in the process."
Also during the spring, Chumley put the speed to use lining up at wide receiver with junior Cameron Castleberry under center, who had just as strong of showing this spring. It sets the stage for an interesting dynamic for the Lobo offense come fall and it's safe to say the Lobos like their options.
"Cameron has continued to develop and develop since he's been with us," King said. "He's got a full understanding of our offense and the things it takes to be a quarterback -- the leadership, toughness and unselfishness, the things it takes for your teammates to rally around you and that's the same with Dezmond."
While it was sophomore D'Crayvan Polk who drew the praise from Hasty during the spring practice, he took the handoff from sophomore quarterback Gaylon Wiley, signifying the cycle is coming full circle for the Lobos.
A perennial force on the ground, the Lobo quarterbacks are well on their way to making their case.
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