O’Quinn makes big strides at quarterback

Published 5:00 am Wednesday, September 8, 2004

MEADVILLE — Franklin County senior quarterback Jasper O’Quinnis adjusting well to his first season under center. He is The DAILYLEADER’s Offensive Player of the Week for the second week of the2004 campaign.

Franklin County head coach Anthony Hart has been pleased withO’Quinn’s progress. His speed, strength and quickness are God-giventalents.

“Jasper has played well for us,” said Hart. “Not only do I feellike he’s a good player, he’s a really strong leader for us onoffense.”

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Grady McCluskey serves as offensive coordinator at FranklinCounty. Raymond Buffington and Charles Moore also devote time tocoaching the offense.

“Jasper gives us a lot of options with him at quarterback,” saidHart. “He has the ball in his hands every play. They (offensivecoaches) have really made some nice adjustments with him being thequarterback.”

Hart said the Bulldogs are not a 1-man offense. “It also helpsJasper that he has some people around him who can do things withthe football. We feel like we have a good football player at everyposition with him. Our offensive line has blocked well.”

Against Terry, the Bulldogs had another back with 100 yards inDeAndre Cameron.

O’Quinn is the kind of player every coach wants on his team.”Jasper plays hard and he practices hard,” said Hart. “He’sfull-speed every day.”

Hart said O’Quinn applies himself in the classroom, too. “He’s agood student. He’s the type of kid you don’t have to worry aboutgetting in trouble at school.”

O’Quinn was happy to share the award with his teammates. Hequickly ticked off the names of his offensive linemen. Working inthe trenches are Jake Buckels at center, Kyle Tutor and AndrewWilliams at guard, Emmanuel Muhammad and Brandon Pedigo at tacklesand Deandre Davis at tight end.

The wide receivers are Jonothan Brooks and Abren Williams. GaryRogers works at fullback.

Against Class 4A Terry, O’Quinn rushed 15 times for 146 yardsand 2 touchdowns. He scored on runs of 82 and 1 yards. He alsocompleted 1 of 3 passes for 15 yards.

“They focused on me a lot so (tailback) DeAndre Cameron ran theball well,” said O’Quinn. “That changed their focus. Our offensiveline blocked real well and our receivers and fullback did too.Cameron opened a lot of holes for me.”

O’Quinn’s adjustment to quarterback is a learning experience. “Ilike playing quarterback but I still have a lot to learn. I havethe ball in my hands a lot. We got off to a good start playing hardbut we need to cut down on our mistakes.”

Asked about his success against Terry, O’Quinn said, “Ten-readblock was working well for me. It’s like an option play. I read thenose guard. If he comes down on the fullback, I pull the ball andrun it. But if he takes me, I give it to the fullback.”

Loyd Star edged Franklin County in overtime last year atMeadville and O’Quinn knows the Bulldogs have a score to settle.”I’ve been waiting on this game for a long time. We know we areplaying in their home town. We really want to win it for coach andthe fans.”

O’Quinn’s favorite subject is English. “I like literature,reading different stories and poems.”

Looking to the future, O’Quinn said he would like to playcollege football. “Right now, I like USM, LSU and MississippiState.”

A 4-sport letterman, O’Quinn plays center field in baseballguard in basketball and runs sprints in track.

“My favorite football player is cornerback Charles Woodson whoplays for the Oakland Raiders,” said O’Quinn.