Friendswood (Texas) coach Steve Van Meter has developed his past three quarterbacks into college signal-callers. His best is yet to come.
Van Meter has coached T.J Jordan of Fordham, Blake Barmore of Trinity College and TCU starter Jeff Ballard over the years, but sophomore quarterback Jacob Karam could be his most prolific pet project.
"Jacob could be my swan song," Van Meter said. "He's light years ahead of where my other guys were as sophomores and I'm trying to make him an Elite 11 quarterback. He's so focused at this age and he wants to be the best."
So focused is Karam that he has never had a Coke or eaten fast food. He's an accomplished pianist and can speak fluent Spanish, while his heritage is Lebanese.
Karam (6-2, 190-pounds) has thrown for 1,051 yards and 10 touchdowns. He is 66 for 119, while leading his team to a 4-1 record.
"He's going to be a drop-back passer, but he's very dangerous on the run," Van Meter said. "He's the first sophomore quarterback to start in 15 years here and has tremendous mechanics. He has a short circular stroke."
Karam has also been tutored by the likes of Jimmy Klingler (Houston) and Drew Tate (Iowa). He has taken in camps at LSU and Houston, and works out extensively with a personnel trainer.
Part of Karam's success is due in part to a solid offensive line made up of a trio of juniors. Cameron Kaufold (6-4, 265-pounds), Luke Landers (6-3, 285-pounds) and Blake Sargent (6-2, 265-pounds) are solid pass blockers, giving Karam time to work his magic.
"That line could all play somewhere in college," Van Meter said. "Landers suffered a knee injury, but he'll be back strong next year."
Also recovering from a knee injury is junior linebacker Will Ebner (6-1, 225-pounds), who was getting verbal offers as a sophomore.
"He's our best player," Van Meter said. "He went down early but we expect him to make a full recovery also. He was the newcomer of the year as a sophomore and schools were all over him."
Ebner was part of a linebacking corp, which has seen Bo Mosely verbally commit to Houston and Robert Hall to Colorado.
The future is bright for Friendswood on the arm of a sophomore gunslinger.