Rasmussen, Becerra will split time at quarterback for Desert Ridge
Desert Ridge coach Jeremy Hathcock will listen to college signal callers say all the right things during a quarterback competition, but knows deep down they are lying through their teeth.
While the quarterbacks may pretend to be buddies, Hathcock says, each is secretly hoping the other sprains a knee so he can have all the playing time.
But with his guys – in the most high-profile high school quarterback competition in the East Valley – he promises that’s not the case.
Desert Ridge is going to use both Parker Rasmussen and Jordan Becerra at quarterback this season. The team went on a staggering run through the end of the regular season and all the way to the 5A-I championship game last year on the fleet feet of Becerra and tailback Joey Counts.
Rasmussen was the team’s starter to begin the year, but an injury forced him to the sidelines and made the Jaguars a run-first, run-second option team. It worked magnificently, but now that both Becerra and Rasmussen are back and healthy for their senior seasons, Hathcock wants to use them both.
“They’ve been splitting the reps, and because we run the ball, it really doesn’t matter who is where,” Hathcock said. “They’re both fast. Either way, I’m right.”
When one is at quarterback, the other will play wide receiver. Hathcock said he will even do a last-second shift at times and switch them in the middle of a play.
“It’s definitely keeping me up at night, thinking of all the things we can do,” Hathcock said.
Hathcock said he usually prefers to only have one quarterback, but sees too much talent in both guys.
“I know I’m going to fall under a lot of scrutiny this year no matter what, and I’m OK with that,” he said. “But if you could see these guys, you’d do the same thing.”
Hathcock stresses how well both Rasmussen and Becerra are handling it.
“They don’t care where they play,” he said. “They ride everywhere together. They do everything together. They really just want to win.”
Quick note: Kevin Walters quit the team this season, Hathcock said. He came on strong last year as the end-around option in the spread-option, carrying the ball 24 times for 209 yards and two touchdowns as a sophomore. He had nine carries for 102 yards and a score in the first round upset of Chandler.