Quarterbacks Max Staver of Brentwood Academy and Al Cobb of Giles County have spent the last few days getting to know the playbook and forming a friendship.
But today’s Tennessee All-Star Classic means different things to each of them.
The sixth annual Tennessee Athletic Coaches Association event kicks off at 1 p.m. in Cookeville at Tennessee Tech’s Tucker Stadium. The game was previously held in Jefferson City.
Staver is competing with the comfort of his future being clearly defined thanks to a June 15 commitment to play for Florida.
“I’m just out here to have some fun,” Staver said. “We’ve only had a couple days of practice, so we’re all going to make some mistakes. I’m just going to smile and hope to get a victory with our guys.”
But for Cobb, this is an opportunity to prove to college scouts he deserves an opportunity to play at the next level.
“That’s in the back of my mind,” Cobb said. “But what it really comes down to is if I just come out here and compete and have fun like I usually do, then hopefully somebody sees me and likes what they see and we can go from there.”
Cobb, who is 6-foot-2 and 185 pounds, led the Bobcats to the Class 4A semifinals before losing their only game of the season, 41-27 to eventual state champion Fulton.
He finished the season with 2,861 passing yards, 1,023 rushing yards and 55 total touchdowns in 14 games, but the Mr. Football finalist holds only one offer: from Virginia Military Institute.
“There have been a lot of colleges watching Al this week and we’re really impressed with the way he has performed so far,” said West coach Kevin Creasy of Trousdale County. “I’m sure he’s turning some heads. Now all he’s got to do is show up (today) and show them that he can do it in the game.”
“A lot of times guys get bad raps for being system quarterbacks, but obviously what they are doing at Giles County is developing great quarterbacks. It took colleges a while to figure out that the guy before him (Bo Wallace) was a legitimate quarterback, and I think Ole Miss is reaping the benefits of nobody recruiting him. One day Al Cobb will land at a school and somebody will regret not recruiting him.”
Staver also led his Eagles to a semifinal appearance in Division II-AA, losing 46-45 to MUS. The 6-foot-5, 215-pounder threw for 1,948 yards, seven touchdowns and eight interceptions in 12 games.
“They’ve got plenty of talent at Florida and time will only help Max. I think they’re going to have a great time with him,” Creasy said. “He’s got a great head on his shoulders. They’re going to develop him into a prime-time player and I’m excited to see him compete on the SEC level.”
* Rosters, on 5C.