The quarterback position at Lufkin (Texas) High School is one of the biggest pressure cookers in the Lone Star State. The school has had some great players at the position over the past few years, but nobody has been able to live up to the legacy that Reggie McNeal built when he was the quarterback for the Panthers. But the talk around the Lufkin sidelines at the Texas 7-on-7 State Tournament last weekend in College Station, Texas, is that the heir apparent has finally arrived.
The new star in waiting is named Jeremy Clayborn, and he's a 6-foot 1/2, 180-pound dual-threat quarterback. He helped Lufkin advance to the first round of the tournament with precision passing and smart decisions.
"I just go out there and get it done," Clayborn said. "The big thing for me is that I practice, practice and practice. I do whatever you need me to do. If you need me to throw it, I'll throw it. If you need me to run it, I'll run it."
Being the quarterback at Lufkin, which Clayborn will be for the first time this season, there is a tremendous amount of pressure placed on you. But Clayborn said he doesn't mind that at all.
"When you're the quarterback you're going to have to take the responsibility," he said. "I take it, and I like the pressure. I feel that I can handle it no matter what the situation. I'm also going to remain focused on helping the team win football games. That's the biggest thing on my mind. I'm not going to worry about what people think about me."
Clayborn has had a great opportunity to talk to others that have come before him about how to approach the recruiting process. He said his teammates have talked to him about how to handle the calls, the media and the spotlight that will come from being the big fish in a little pond.
"I learned from the other guys to not root for a particular college because you never know where you're going to end up at," he said.
But Clayborn did drop one clue as to what team he grew up watching.
"I liked Texas," Clayborn said. "I still want to play my game and then focus later on what might happen with the schools, but I like Texas. I always have."