American Heart Assoc.

Norman, Gray provide options for FHS starting quarterback

by | Jul 18, 2023 | Sports

An injury last season derailed the Farmersville passing attack on offense, highlighting a need for more depth at the position.

This season, with two potential starters in the pool, the Farmers feel much better about their chances in 2023.

Competing for the starting quarterback job is Caden Norman and Brady Gray. Norman started at quarterback last season for the Farmers, throwing for 646 yards and five touchdowns in five starts. Gray, who started five games in 2021 before focusing on baseball last season, threw for 503 yards and four touchdwons and also ran for two more scores.

Both players bring talent and varsity experience to the quarterback position for the Farmers. For head coach Zac Quinlan, that depth will be key to the team’s success.

“I feel really good about quarterback, probably better than I have since I’ve been here,” Quinlan said. “Both guys bring experience to the table, and whenever you have guys who have been through the fire it usually brings out the best in them. Brady and Caden are both such good athletes, that whoever doesn’t win the job will help the team in some way at a different position and also be our backup.”

Gray, an Abilene Christian Baseball committ, spent the past season preparing for his junior season of baseball, where he was named the District 13-4A defensive player of the year. As he makes his return to football for his senior season, his time on the baseball diamond may make him a better player.

“Brady is someone who doesn’t hang on to a lot of stuff,” Quinlan said. “You can see the baseball player in him, because when he makes a bad throw he doesn’t dwell on it, and when he makes a mistake it doesn’t throw him off his game. He’s got a lot of talent, but his mindset is something that can make him even better because he’s always focused on the next play and isn’t focused on any mistakes.”

Norman assumed the starting job from Gray last season and had the Farmers rolling in non-district play, including in a 21-18 comeback win over Pilot Point. An injury last season changed the course for the Farmersville passing game, but he still showed plenty of potential as both a thrower and runner from the quarterback position.

“He’s got a very good understanding of what we want to do on offense,” Quinlan said. “He’s got a big arm and is a good athlete, so that’s where his advantage lies. He’s been in that fire for us more recently and carries that advantage into a quarterback competition, I think it’s his job to lose right now.”

Whoever wins the job, athleticism at the position will be key. The Farmers like to run their quarterbacks in the offense, and Gray and Norman have both proven they can handle that responsibility.

Norman will likely play at wide receiver if he does not win the starting quarterback job, while Gray will likely line up as a slot receiver if needed as well.

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American Heart Assoc.

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