The perfect player: What attributes Florida HS football coaches value at each position

Photo: Jeremiah Wilson/TCPalm

What attributes do you value most in a quarterback? What about a linebacker?

TCPalm asked the 13 area head coaches what three characteristics they prioritize at each position. And while coaches tend to prioritize different things, based on their scheme or style preferences, some desired attributes are universal.


Top three attributes: Leadership (8 votes), high football IQ (7), accuracy (4)

Just missed the cut: Poise (3), arm talent (3)

Port St. Lucie coach Chris Dent: “The quarterback is one of the most important positions on the team. He has to know all the positions and what everyone is doing on every play. Everyone looks to him to lead. As the quarterback goes, the offense goes.”

Running back

Top three attributes: Toughness (6 votes), vision (5), speed (4)

Just missed the cut: Play-making ability (3), blocking (3)

Martin County coach Rod Harris: “They have to get you that extra yard. They’re the ones who get hit quite a bit. You want a guy who on third-and-2 is going to get you those two yards no matter what. He has to block and run over people. He has to catch. He has to do everything.”

Wide receiver

Top three attributes: Hands (8 votes), blocking (6), route-running (5), speed (5)

Just missed the cut: Toughness (2), high football IQ (2), ability to adjust to the ball (2), unselfishness (2), play-making ability (2)

South Fork coach Mike Lavelle: “There’s kind of no point if you can’t catch the football. It’s kind of obvious. If you’re throwing a lot of incompletions, you’re playing behind the sticks.”

Vero Beach wide receiver Demarcus Harris stays in front of Dr. Phillips (Orlando) cornerback Bryan Bell-Anderson for a contested touchdown catch during the second quarter of the Class 8A Regional Semifinal high school football game Friday, Nov. 16, 2018, at the Citrus Bowl in Vero Beach. (Photo: Xavier Mascareñas/TCPalm)

Offensive line

Top three attributes: Toughness (7 votes), strength (5), high football IQ (5)

Just missed the cut: Good footwork (4)

Fort Pierce Central coach Jeff Cameron: “The trenches are a different beast because it’s immediate contact on every play. There’s a mental aspect involved, but it’s physical on every play.”

Defensive line

Top three attributes: Strength (5 votes), good footwork (4), toughness (4), good hands (4)

Just missed the cut: Nastiness (2), aggressive (2), explosive (2)

Sebastian River coach Tony Perry: “You’re getting hit on every play, sometimes double- and triple-teamed. It’s a beast down there in the pit when you have guys 250- to 260 pounds banging on you from each direction.”


Top three attributes: High football IQ (11 votes), sure tackler (7), toughness (4)

Just missed the cut: Good downhill runner (3)

John Carroll coach Mickey Groody: “I think for linebackers, especially in our system, they’re the quarterback of the defense. They have to know where everyone should be lined up and what the play is. They’re not just responsible for their own assignment, they have to know what everybody else’s is, too.”

Defensive back

Top three attributes: Speed (9 votes), ball skills (7), football IQ (6)

Just missed the cut: Solid tackler (4)

St. Lucie West Centennial coach Josh Watkins: “With a lot of teams running the spread and more and more teams dabbling with deep-ball stuff, you have to have guys that can run.”

Read the full article at the TCPalm.

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