By Brandon Speck
Jack Abraham couldn’t yet legally operate a motor vehicle on Mississippi roads during football season.
It probably seemed illegal to Oxford’s opponents this season the way the sophomore quarterback operated the Chargers’ offense.
Abraham, who turned 16 last month, is the 2013 Daily Journal Offensive Player of the Year.
“I thought as the year went on, I got better as a player and we got better as a team,” said Abraham, one of only 64 quarterbacks nationwide in Los Angeles this weekend for the Elite 11 competition.
The Chargers went 14-1, the lone loss to Picayune in the 5A title game. Abraham threw for 3,572 yards and 38 touchdowns, both Oxford records. He completed 61 percent of his passes.
He was second in America among sophomores in yardage and touchdowns.
“And most of the time, we took him out midway through the third quarter. If we’d have turned him loose, his stats would have been a whole lot better,” Oxford coach Johnny Hill said. “He’s just a remarkable young man.”
Abraham started at a young age, his first real action as a third grader, playing for dad Michael and the little league Buccaneers. The Oxford seniors are the first group of major producers from the Bucs and Abraham’s sophomore group has been together since then – three of his six leading receivers are coming back, as is 1,700-yard back Kenzie Phillips.
Hill raves about Abraham’s level head, to go along with his abilities – crediting his father, a former quarterback – with instilling the right habits.
Abraham plays a lot bigger than his 6-foot, 185 pounds. He looks up to pros Russell Wilson and Drew Brees, both leading Super Bowl contending teams and both listed near the same height.
“I’m trying to get bigger in the weight room, faster. I like to think that height really doesn’t matter in a QB. It’s how much talent you have,” Abraham said, “the kind of leadership you have and what kind of aspects you bring to the field.”
Hill says that aspect is how to pick apart a defense. Abraham’s next step is taking over the play calling. College interest is picking up and like his game, there’s only more to look forward to.
“I wish I could tell you I’ve coached him up real well to do this all season, but he’s been coached all his life,” Hill said. “He goes to a ballgame, he’s looking how to defeat a defense.
“What he’s got between his ears is there and you can’t coach that stuff. For a sophomore to know this stuff, imagine where he’ll be his senior year.”