High School Sports

2011 Football preview: Collegiate's Markus Phox

Four quarterbacks, each looking for something more -- another championship, a shot at starting, a full season, a chance to lead. Here's a look at four of the area's premier QB.

Markus Phox has unfinished business.

His sophomore season at Collegiate was cut short in the sixth game when he was knocked out with a broken collarbone. He cried on the way to the hospital, so frustrated at his year ending early.

"I felt like I was letting my team down," Phox said.

He was having a special season — 877 passing yards and 593 rushing — and had already established himself as a player opponents had to focus on.

That's not likely to be any different this season.

"He has great vision on options," Collegiate coach Bill Messamore said. "You go, 'Whoa! How did he even see that?' Plus, he's extremely confident. Some say, 'Oh, he's cocky.' I wouldn't say he's a cocky sort of guy, but he believes in his ability to get things done."

Teams often tried to stop Phox's opportunities to run because of his quickness in getting outside. But Messamore wants Phox thinking that he should throw first, run second. Phox has such arm strength and mobility that he can roll out and send the ball deep downfield.

Phox wants to improve on last season's play, wants to take his team deep into the playoffs. But he also needs to make good decisions — like, maybe, running out of bounds every so often to avoid a tackle?

Phox laughed.

"Messamore, after (the injury), talked to me about running out of bounds," Phox said. "I've never done that. Not if there's a first down ahead."

He's willing, though, to get the first down and go out of bounds to avoid the injury.

Well, he'll try. After all, he's got games to play.

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