April 3, 2013

Queen a budding star

It isn't often that a team in the highest classification in the state of Georgia, AAAAAA, relies on a sophomore at quarterback.

That, however, is exactly what the North Cobb Warriors did in 2012 by putting the offense in the hands of Tyler Queen. The move paid off as Queen led the Warriors to an 11-3 record and to the GHSA AAAAAA semifinals where they lost 63-42 to Lovejoy.

In his first year as a starter, Queen racked up 2,607 yards and 23 touchdowns through the air and ran for 926 yards and 20 touchdowns, but if you are searching for someone to take the credit, you'll have to look beyond the talented youngster.

"My stats don't really reflect how I did," Queen said. "It is more of how my teammates helped me. We do a lot of getting the ball in the playmakers' hands. They make plays that are just unreal. It just shows how the coach trusts me to get it to those players and a credit to what they've done. Our defense was unreal this year as well. We had a great receiving core and a great offensive line and a great supporting cast. We were a good team all around and our coaches did a great job getting our game plan ready and they put me in a position to perform and execute."

As Queen prepares for his junior season, he will also have to give at least some of his attention to his own recruitment as schools all over the southeast are courting the star sophomore.

"It's going really well right now," Queen said of his recruitment. "I'm just trying to get my feet wet by visiting a couple of schools. I got offered by UNC last Tuesday and that was big time for me. I'm really excited to get my first major D-1 offer out of the way. It's just really exciting right now with all the coaches wanting to talk to me and get me up to camp. I'm just really excited to get out and visit and hopefully get more offers here pretty soon."

Offers from Middle Tennessee and Buffalo have also come in the last couple of months, and visits to other schools are on the horizon.

On Friday, at the request of the Georgia coaches, Queen made the trip to Athens to check out the Bulldogs' spring practice, and spent the day getting a good look at the program.

"The visit to Georgia Friday went really well," he said. "I got to talk a lot to coach (Mike) Bobo and he had me on his hip through practice to show me what they do and just kind of getting a feel for how practice goes. I was there with the tight end from Calvary Day in Savannah, Milan Richard, and we hung out and talked a little bit because he is being recruited big-time by Georgia. I got to hang out with him and talk to a couple of the quarterbacks at Georgia. I got to go in the meetings and it was really nice."

Georgia is one of the many schools that heavily recruiting Queen at this early stage but has decided to hold off on offering for now.

A offer could come at any point, but, for now, the Georgia coaches have Queen know they want him around the program as much as possible.

"They are telling me they are really interested," he said. "They can't say a whole lot, but they want me on campus and want me around. They want me to come to Dawg Night, of course, and want me to throw for them. I really like the coaches. They are really honest and up front. They are really genuine about their interest in me. Coach Richt and Coach Bobo do a great job with quarterbacks up there in Athens."

According to Queen, being welcome at UGA, despite not having an offer, is ok with him because he has great deal of respect for the program.

"Georgia likes to win," Queen said when asked to share his thoughts on the UGA program. "That is something that I pride myself on. I like to compete and I like to win games and Georgia was right in the hunt for the national championship last year. That plays a big role in my decision. I want to go somewhere where I have a chance to play, but more than that, I want to win football games. They do a great job doing that. (It is) just a great program. I got a great feel when I was there Friday when I was watching practice. They get after it 24/7 and that is what I like about the university and the program."

As can be expected, the Georgia visit isn't the only one the strong-armed sophomore has planned this spring.

Queen plans to take in other campuses in hopes of becoming familiar with any school that may offer in the near future.

"I'm going to Clemson this coming up Thursday," he said of his future plans. "I'm going to visit coach (Chad) Morris there. I might be going to Alabama sometime soon. I'm not sure about that. I know for sure I'm going to Dawg Night. I also have to talk to coach (Doug) Nussemier at Alabama about their one day camp too."

More offers are bound to come over the course of the next year, and as they come, schools will need to know that Queen isn't as far away from enrolling at the school of his choice as most recruits are.

He could be on campus and competing for playing time as soon as January of 2015.

"I've already talked to my counselors at school and we are on track, as of now, if I want to go ahead and enroll mid year, I'm on track for that," he said. "My senior year I'll be ready to enroll early if that is a step we are willing to take."

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