The high school football season kicks off in 38 days. Teams in Mississippi will begin fall camp in just over three weeks.
In preparation for the 2015 campaign, The Clarion-Ledger will break down the top six players in each position across the state and evaluate those who could play a key role in determining their team’s success this season.
To start things off, here’s a look at the top six Mississippi high school quarterbacks primed for a breakout year.
Jack Abraham, senior, Oxford
The Chargers have been cleaning up on the 7-on-7 circuit this summer and boast one of the deepest squads in the state.
The high expectations for Oxford in 2015 start with senior quarterback Jack Abraham. The three-star Tulane commit has had the time to mature and hone his craft over the last few seasons and will enter his third year as a starter this fall.
Despite coming up short in each of the last two Class 5A championship games, Oxford isn’t sweating Abraham’s experience and poise under center.
Praised for his accuracy and overall completeness, Abraham is often tabbed as the most developed quarterback in the state. During the 2014 season, Abraham threw for 3,304 yards, 35 touchdowns and eight interceptions while completing 59.7 percent of his passes.
Should the Chargers finally get over the hump and reach the final game of the 2014 season, Abraham could be the key reason Oxford sends Johnny Hill into retirement with a championship trophy.
Keon Howard, senior, Laurel
Laurel’s dual-threat quarterback led his team to the Class 5A title last year and looked every part of an elite talent.
Howard racked up 3,631 passing yards and 38 touchdowns during the 2014 season to go along with 10 interceptions and a completion percentage just under 53 percent.
He’s a tremendous athlete with an ability to move in and out of the pocket with ease. The playmakers he has at his disposal are a big help, but Howard can also get it done on his own.
The 6-foot-2, 205-pounder excels at making throws on the run and picking up yardage with his own feet to gain a first down.
His measureables and rocket arm have made colleges take notice. Howard holds offers from Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Southern Miss, Louisville and Memphis.
Cam Bowman, senior, DeSoto Central
After winning the starting job two years ago, Bowman is poised for a breakout season along with the Jaguars deep group of offensive athletes.
The 6-foot-2, 200 pound quarterback put his arm strength and accuracy on display during multiple 7-on-7 tournaments this summer. Bowman is a stickler when it comes to fundamentals and prides himself on being able to make plays when everything breaks down. We’ll get to see how Bowman puts it all together and handles pressure when he gets behind a stout offensive line highlighted by Mississippi State left tackle commit Dareuan Parker.
Bowman saw a slight decline in his production from his sophomore to junior year but still managed to record 1,336 passing yards, nine touchdowns and nine interceptions.
His precision, however, continues to improve from year to year, as the DeSoto Central quarterback completed 62.5 percent of his passes as a junior, leading the Jaguars to the Class 6A playoffs.
Juwan Adams, senior, North Pike
The two-sport athlete executed North Pike’s fast paced attack last season and finished as one of the most productive quarterbacks in Mississippi.
In 2014, Adams threw for 3,081 yards, 27 touchdowns and completed 63.6 percent of his passes. He was also effective with his own feet, picking up nine rushing touchdowns.
While the Jaguars will likely have to account for a tough St. Stanislaus team in the 4A playoffs, Adams could be the piece to get North Pike over the hump. His 6-foot-3, 200 pound frame makes him a solid threat with his arms and his legs and a tremendous playmaker.
The in-state SEC schools have expressed interest. Adams, a three-star prospect, already holds offers from Louisiana Tech, Louisville, Memphis and Troy.
Miles Brennan, junior, St. Stanislaus
Brennan exploded as a sophomore and recorded the best numbers of any quarterback in Mississippi during the 2014 season.
In the Rock-A-Chaws high-octane offense, the junior will have many opportunities to top his own production again this season.
St. Stanislaus finished as runners-up to Noxubee County in the Class 4A title game, but it wasn’t before Brennan set a new single-season record for passing yards and passing touchdowns that was previously held by St. Stanislaus alum Dylan Favre.
Can Brennan break his own record of 5,797 passing yards and 64 touchdowns in a single season this year? While tough, it’s not unlikely for the 6-foot-3, 175-pounder who only threw less than 300 passing yards one time in 2014.
Timorris Conner, senior, Noxubee County
Noxubee County football runs deep in the Conner family bloodline and the Tigers three-year starting quarterback is looking to cap off his senior season with back-to-back rings.
After leading the Tigers to a 14-2 finish and Class 4A championship win in 2014, Conner is quickly emerging as one of the top quarterbacks to keep an eye on this fall.
The 5-foot-11 signal caller threw for over 3,000 yards and 35 touchdowns as a junior and ran in five touchdowns on his own. Conner aims to prove his case among the state’s best quarterbacks and earn his first Division I offer, which could come sooner rather than later with the entire offensive package he has at his disposal this year.
Conner’s football I.Q. and decision making has made signficiant strides over the last two years. With his last shot to shine under the lights on Friday nights, the Tigers quarterback aims to lead his team into dynasty status this fall.
Contact Courtney Cronin at (601) 961-7091 or email@example.com. Follow @CourtneyRCronin on Twitter.