Made a quick stop this morning over at Rye. Yes, I know I went there already. But I was there more to work on a story that I’m writing for the football preview, as well as check the Garnets out for blogging-purposes.
The last time I was at Rye was on the first day of camp, which seems like forever ago. That day, the Garnets looked like a team in midseason form. Today was a lot more like that, although a few different things caught my eye.
As I walked up, quarterback Connor Eck was throwing with backup QB Jake Myerson in the typical QB pattern (QB throws to a receiver, who then hands the ball to the other QB, who throws it back). My jaw dropped when watching Eck throw. Not only does he have the best arm strength of any QB I’ve seen this preseason, he’s easily the most accurate. The receiver, Brendan Nagle, was putting his hands up in different spots as a target. Without fail, Eck would drill a throw to that spot. Sure, it’s hardly breaking news that Eck is a good QB. But what we saw last year in winning a state title as a sophomore was just the start of something special. I spoke to him for a while too. He’s a far more relaxed, mature and confident kid than he was last year. It’s a remarkable development in one year.
Nagle, who’ll be one of Rye’s main backs, and Cole McCormack looked fantastic running through speed and agility drills. McCormack’s footwork is so good and he doesn’t lose an ounce of strength when changing directions.
The Garnets have some bulk, too. Brian Levinson is going to be a breakout lineman (if there is such a thing for a lineman) this season. He’s about 6-2, 280 and he can move. Charlie Rollins, the lone returning starter on the line, has gotten bigger, too. He’s be one of the top blockers in Class A and perhaps Section 1.
Rye coach Dino Garr and I spoke at length, as well. He made some good points, about how Rye is in the strongest league in Class A (probably true, it’s the deepest with four teams with legit playoff chances) and that Rye possibly got a raw deal having to play A’s top contender (Ossining) and B’s top contender (Sleepy Hollow) as its crossovers. Is it the toughest schedule in Section 1? I think it could be by the end of the year.
I got my reporting done and am darting out of there before anybody accusses me of favoring Rye with this second visit. I’ll be heading off to Rye Neck and then Harrison. Stay tuned.