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The Rochelle defense struggles to bring down Kanelands quarterback Drew David while he ran for first down on Saturday November 12th, 2011 in Rochelle IL. Terence Guider-Shaw~For Sun-Times Media
Little wonder Drew David became such a talent as a passing quarterback at the high school level at such a young age. He’s been prepping for it for awhile.
“Since third grade,” the 16-year-old Kaneland junior answered last week when asked how long he’s played the position. “I started in the Aurora Superstars League and we had a Sugar Grove team. Everyone here (on the current Knights’ roster) pretty much played on it.”
And at age 10 and 11, David remembers joining his buddies on Friday nights, standing along the fence to watch the Kaneland varsity “because there was no room in the bleachers.”
And that’s when he’d dream of making plays like his two biggest heroes.
“I used to love Brett Favre, so I always kind of wanted to be just like him,” remembers David, whose parents grew up in Wisconsin.
He also fell in love with the spread passing attack then offensive coordinator Tom Fedderly had developed to showcase the talents of another Knights QB.
“Boone Thorgesen,” David continued with a nod. “I used to think (Thorgesen) was the next best thing (to Favre). He and Favre were the two quarterbacks I really looked up to. My earliest memories (of the Knights) are when they were out slinging it. I used to love watching that.”
And last year, David got his chance. Fedderly, now the head coach, made him one of seven sophomores promoted to the varsity and started him in the season opener. The youngster responded by accounting for 44 touchdowns, passing for more than 3,300 yards (and 39 TDs), while running for nearly 400 more yards in leading the Knights to a 12-1 season.
“I knew way back (when David) was in fifth or sixth grade that the kid was a really good passer,” said Fedderly. “My son, Drew, is a year younger and they played together every other year on the feeder team. Coming up, we were excited with the possibilities, but how could you ever imagine somebody doing what he did?
“He had some amazing games, especially down the stretch. I thought was gonna be one of our best (QBs) when it was all said and done, but you still have to go out there and do it.”
Last Saturday, David was at it again, rallying the Knights from a 20-6 deficit midway through the third quarter to a 25-24 win over Brooks in the season opener with a pair of second-half TDs to Zack Martinelli.
David’s comments earlier in the week made him sound like a prophet (or coach).
“We gotta be ready for each week ahead of us. We just want to stay focused on that one game and take care of things in the fourth quarter,” he said.
The 6-footer has added 15 pounds of muscle and is up to 175 after devoting himself to a lifting program in the school’s weight room in the offseason, which included his second season starting for the varsity basketball team.
“I think I’m a lot better prepared (this year) because I understand how fast the game is now and I know what to look for in defenses,” he said. “Last year, everything kind of hits you and it’s like, ‘Wow, this is a lot faster than sophs.’ It’s gonna help a lot.”
David settled in quickly last year.
“My first pass was a screen to (then senior) Quinn (Bushbacher) and it was a touchdown,” said David. “It kinda showed me how explosive the people we had around me were and how effective they could be if I just got them the ball.”
Fedderly like the way his signal caller prepares.
“When we’re watching film, he doesn’t dwell on the good stuff,” said the coach. “He looks at the stuff he wants to improve and works on it from week to week. … (that was) pretty cool for a sophomore. With all the success, it would’ve been easy for it to go to your head.”
His improvement in reading defenses has led to Fedderly handing him more of the reins on offense.
“It’s nice to know that if coach calls something and you see it and feel like it’s not gonna work and you see something that can help us, you can always change it,” said David.
Coach and QB are on the same page in more ways than one.
“Coach Fed is a Packer fan, too,” said David. “We kinda team up when the (NFL) season (kicks off). Mostly everybody else (on Kaneland’s team) is a Bears fan. There’s always a little bicker, back and forth.”