B.J. Coleman was excitedly hopping up and down on the 18th tee at Moccasin Bend Golf Club, his smile about as big as it gets.
"I got that one, boy!" he said to his playing partners, including longtime friend and teammate Joel Bradford, after launching a monster drive down the right side of the fairway.
Monster drives in excess of 300 yards are the norm for the 6-foot-5 University of Tennessee at Chattanooga quarterback, who has the length, though not always the accuracy, to drive the green on several par 4s on the course.
In golf as in football, and the same likely goes for any quarterback, Coleman seems to get more of a thrill out of executing the long bombs than the short stuff.
For years, Bradford has been on the receiving end of those long passes. The pair made a dominant quarterback-receiver team at McCallie, and now they're together again on offense after Bradford played safety for the Mocs last season.
"I was his favorite target in high school, but we haven't played in a game in three years so we'll see how that goes," Bradford said after a recent round of golf with Coleman.
The two have hit the links often this summer, when they weren't in the weightroom or participating in 7-on-7 workouts with their teammates.
Though they're very close friends and loyal teammates, when it comes to golf or any other kind of competition - "basketball, football, golf, tennis, bowling - anything: the Wii," Bradford said - they try to blow the doors off the other.
"I think when it comes down to it, I think we both like pressure situations," said Coleman, who explained that the two keep a record of their head-to-head matchups. "I think we're pretty even, but he may be up on me by a game or two this summer."
It looked early on as if Bradford might have the upper hand this round after he had two eagle putts on the front nine, but Coleman's big blasts on the wide-open course set him up to win by a couple of strokes.
The time away from golf right before the start of practice is crucial, Coleman said. The players report Wednesday and the first practice is Thursday.
"It's a good opportunity for us to get away and release, do something that we love to do," the quarterback said. "When we go out and we get away from the football field, we try to stay away from football and talk about a bunch of other things: our families, how the Braves are doing, what kind of clubs we're going to get, whatever."
When Coleman and Bradford wrapped their McCallie careers in 2006, they figured they would never be teammates again. They were apart for two years while Coleman was at the University of Tennessee, but they were reunited last season after Coleman transferred home.
"When I decided to come to Chattanooga, everybody was like, 'It's going to be you and Joel again.' You wouldn't believe how many people said that," Coleman said. "The crazy thing is, when Joel and I were at McCallie together, we had (a big group of guys) and it wasn't that big of a deal. Now that I've moved back, it's kind of magnified on the two of us, which is a good thing. We're just the same old guys that we were, no different from anyone else."
They are different on the field, however. The chemistry and common knowledge they've developed over the years pays dividends in the passing game, UTC offensive coordinator Marcus Satterfield said.
"There's times out there when you don't say a word, like Joel and B.J. can just look at each other, not say one word and know what the other is thinking and adjust the route accordingly," said Satterfield, who knows what it's like having played with his high school quarterback at East Tennessee State.
"They did that a couple of times in the spring, where (B.J.) just kind of looked at him and rolled his eyes or moved his eyebrows and Joel knew what he was talking about, and it ended up being a good play for us."
While neither Coleman nor Bradford is watching they clock, the juniors know that they have two years left together. And in those two years they want to help lift the UTC program to new heights, "and I want to have fun and cherish the moment as much as I can, and enjoy the people I'm playing with," Bradford said.
Added Coleman: "We're going to do everything we possibly can to make our mark. It doesn't last forever, and what we do have now is pretty special."