While there's still a lot of college football to be played, high school gridiron action is winding down across the southeast. But among the players still in action is Bulldog quarterback commit Jacob Park of Stratford High in Goose Creek, South Carolina. Park will lead his squad against perennial South Carolina power Northwestern on Saturday at noon in Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia. You can watch a webcast of the game live on the South Carolina High School League website.
Park's regular season numbers were good, though not great. He did throw for over 3300 yards and 29 touchdowns. However, Park also tossed interceptions and, while I was only able to find full stats for 8 games, in those 8 he was 114 of 234 through the air for a roughly 49% completion rate, a good bit lower than I'd like to see from a high school passer.
That being said, the 6'3, 200 pounder (who's actually a native of Syracuse, New York) is a real talent. We here at Dawg Sports were excited about him before he pledged to the Red and Black, and it's been great to see recruiting services and other schools take notice of his talents. 247Sports rates Park the #5 pro-style passer in the country, which is a bit deceptive given that he's also rushed for over 300 yards and 9 touchdowns this season. He's the 7th highest rated signal caller in Rivals' ranking of the top 250 players for the class of 2014.
Park is a bit of a rough diamond at this point, but I think that if you tune in on Saturday you'll see a guy who's clearly capable of leading the Bulldog offense. With Hutson Mason seemingly the leader on the tee in the race for the 2014 starting job, Park, rising redshirt freshman Brice Ramsey, and rising redshirt sophomore Faton Bauta look like the primary contenders for the 2015 starting nod. The good news is that whoever wins the job is likely to hold it for several years, which has been a key to successfully running the Bulldog attack. Even D.J. Shockley, while only a one year starter, had seen copious action throughout his Bulldog career.
I like the stable of quarterbacks Coaches Richt and Bobo have put together, and note that they're a good bit more mobile than some of the prior, lumbering pro-style passers to don the red and black. Make of that what you will regarding the future direction of the Bulldog offense. Maybe it's an intentional shift in philosophy, maybe just a coincidence. But it is a trend nonetheless. Until later . . .