FORT WORTH, Texas- West Palm Beach (Fla.) Dwyer is consistently one of the top programs in the nation. The South Florida powerhouse had a disappointing end to the 2010 season, falling in the state semifinals and failing to repeat as state champions. However, despite the loss of three four-star prospects the future looks bright at Dwyer.
One of the big reasons the Panthers will likely be a force again this coming season is a quarterback transfer that came from a very unlikely place. Faton Bauta moved to Florida from Brooklyn, N.Y. this offseason and the 6-foot-3, 225-pound prospect will likely take the reins of the offense next year.
"My dad had a really big business opportunity that he wanted to take advantage of, so he did," Bauta said. "I found myself in Palm Beach, Fla. playing for Dwyer now. It's awesome. I'm loving it right now. I'm just getting to know my teammates and my coaching staff and all that. I'm just getting ready for spring ball.
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"Absolutely, it's way different than Brooklyn. Playing for a powerhouse in Florida is pretty huge. I noticed when I got down there that everyone was making a big deal that the New York kid was coming own to play quarterback for a big-time school in Florida."
In New York, Bauta played linebacker in addition to quarterback and was listed as an athlete in the Rivals.com recruiting database. However, after a strong showing this past weekend at the Fort Worth Elite 11 quarterback camp, he certainly looks to the part of a Division I passer.
"Absolutely, that's what I'm trying to accomplish," Bauta said of playing quarterback in college. "I'm trying to show everybody what I can do. That's what I see myself as at the next level. Most of the schools are recruiting me as a quarterback. Some say athlete but none of them have said linebacker."
Before he heads to the next level, the class of 2012 prospect still has a season of high school left. He takes over for a legend in U.S. Army All-American and Florida signee Jacoby Brissett at the quarterback position for Dwyer. Though there are big shoes to fill, Bauta is not worried.
"I've talked to Jacoby a bunch of times," he said. "He's a great guy and a great player. He's everything a coach wants in a quarterback. I don't really feel any added pressure though. If there is then I'm not paying attention to it. I'm just going to play my game of football that I know how to play and just do what I have to do to get this Dwyer team back to a state championship."
Bauta currently holds a dozen offers with more likely on the way once spring ball begins. However, he has not thought too much about the recruiting process just yet.
"We'll see," he said. "I really don't have plans right now. I'd like to stay down south but I don't have all the schools I want to go to right now. I'm just keeping my options open.