Weaver’s Hamby has two talented signal callers heading into fall
by Nick Birdsong
nbirdsong@annistonstar.com
Aug 23, 2011 | 3678 views |  0 comments | 31 31 recommendations | email to a friend | print
WEAVER — Daryl Hamby had always believed in the old-school philosophy: If you’ve got two quarterbacks, you don’t have one.

Then, Florida won the 2006 BCS National Championship using both Chris Leak and then-freshman Tim Tebow simultaneously.

Hamby might have wavered a little on his philosophy, but it didn’t change his approach when he took over the head football coaching gig at Weaver last season.

Freshman Timothy Hawkins was the team’s lone legit option at starter and guided the Bearcats to the playoffs where they lost to eventual state runner-up Hamilton.

However, his belief was completely shattered when 6-foot-6 senior Brennan Ledbetter transferred back to Weaver. The opportunity to add an experienced signal caller to his offense while also being able to use the 6-foot-2 Hawkins’ immense athletic ability as a receiver when he’s not under center was one Hamby couldn’t shelve.

But just how he’ll use Ledbetter, who played for Hannah High School in South Carolina as a sophomore before sitting out his junior season at Weaver while transferring, is still like the passing game — up in the air.

“I’ll tell you after the season,” Hamby said. “I don’t know. It’s hit or miss. All of this is new. We’re going to have to figure out what works best for Weaver.”

Weaver went 5-6 last season, finishing .500 in the regular season. The Bearcats nabbed the fourth and final spot in Class 3A, Region 6 behind Piedmont, Glencoe and Susan Moore with Hawkins running the show.

Ledbetter and Hawkins will see the field plenty whether they’re under center or elsewhere. Hamby said he plans to use both of them at split end when the other is at quarterback.

“If the other team has a 5-5 cornerback, we might just split Brennan out just to throw it up there to him,” Hamby said. “That’ll be hard to stop.”

Switching positions doesn’t bother Hawkins.

“I grew up being a running back and a wide receiver,” he said. “My dad actually talked to coach Hamby about me playing quarterback. This could be a good thing. We should be able to run a lot of trick plays and stuff.”

Hamby said both played well in spring competition against Pleasant Valley. Weaver’s summer schedule consisted of just one 7-on-7 against Alexandria, and Hamby doesn’t read too much into that.

“They’re both capable passers,” he said, “and I think the healthy competition could ultimately make them better players and the team more prosperous.”

After going 0-10 in 2009, the Bearcats may have surprised some with their run to the playoffs last season. However, they won’t catch anyone off guard in the season opener at Susan Moore, their first of eight region matchups.

They lost all-county performers Tevin Heath, who signed with Huntingdon College, and horse running back Quinatta “Toot” Jones. However, they return all-county performer Brandell Massey, one of the county’s most impressive physical specimens, as well as speedster Chris English. The 5-foot-9, 150-pounder put on 15 pounds of muscle in the offseason while retaining the jets that made him so exciting to watch as a freshman.

Hamby admitted his team was somewhat scared prior to getting thumped by Hamilton in the first round last year. However, much like Hamby’s rigid one-quarterback mode of thinking, the idea that Weaver is a doormat victory for the opposition has also vanished.

“They both do things exceptionally well,” Hamby said of Hawkins and Ledbetter. “I know they can handle it. I don’t have to worry about hurting their feelings.

“The thing I like about both of them is they’re both just about winning.”

Nick Birdsong covers prep sports for The Star. He can be reached at 256-235-3575. Follow him on Twitter @birds_word.
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Weaver’s Hamby has two talented signal callers heading into fall by Nick Birdsong
nbirdsong@annistonstar.com

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