By Gene Phelps/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – Developing a starting quarterback will be one of the top priorities this spring for first-year Tupelo head coach Trent Hammond.
The Golden Wave opens its 15 days of spring drills this week with returnee Alex Norwood and newcomer Daniel Bristow taking snaps under center.
Norwood split time at QB last season with Thomas Harris. Norwood completed 46 of 94 passes for 721 yards and three touchdowns. He also rushed for 88 yards and a score.
Bristow started for the freshman team and is considered more of a passer.
Hammond, who has run ground-oriented and pass-oriented schemes, likes the skills both players possess.
“Both kids bring characteristics that can help us,” he said. “Alex has a lot of experience. Daniel has a stronger arm, Alex has better feet.
“We won’t know until May 10 where they fit. We want to see who can do what this spring.”
Hammond recently hired his former offensive coordinator in Amory, John Keith, to handle the same duties for the Golden Wave.
“We like an offense with a lot of movement, shifts and formations … quick tempo,” Hammond said. “Last year we ran 65 percent. The year before, it was 95 pass. It flips depending on what we need.”
This much is sure, expect lots of looks offensively. Hammond’s Amory teams passed for nearly 10,000 yards in three years.
Another player expecting to figure into the Golden Wave’s plans is Quinn Tiggs, a Daily Journal All-Area first-team selection last season in the secondary.
Tiggs played some at running back last season and rushed for 446 yards and three touchdowns.
Hammond compares him to his former Amory star, Dario Robinson, who piled up 1,822 yards rushing and receiving.
“Quinn has a lot of those skills … and a bigger body,” the coach said. “He can be pretty good if he works hard.”
On the defensive side, Hammond’s teams have run a 3-4 scheme since 1998.
“We will play four linebackers,” he said. “We’re trying to put a lot of speed on the field and give you a lot of multiple looks.”
Tupelo will conclude its spring drills with an intrasquad scrimmage May 10.