McCallie quarterback Deangelo Hardy is area player of the week

McCallie quarterback Deangelo Hardy is area player of the week

October 17th, 2017 by Ward Gossett in Sports - Preps

McCallie's Deangelo Hardy (10) carries for a touchdown against Notre Dame during the Kickoff Classic Best of Preps jamboree at Finley Stadium on Friday, Aug. 11, in Chattanooga, Tenn.

Photo by C.B. Schmelter

Honorable Mention

Ty Boeck, Soddy-Daisy: A three-way performer last week, Boeck kicked off, long-snapped, scored three TDs on 75 rushing yards and 14 receiving yards, forced and recovered a fumble and got a sack plus 21 solo tackles and 10 assists in a loss to Rhea County.

Tom Vatter, Signal Mountain: He completed eight of 13 passes and five of those went for touchdowns as part of a 254-yard night in the Eagles’ win over McMinn Central.

Jeremy Elston, Tyner: He averaged more than 21 yards per carry, rushing for 194 yards and three touchdowns in the Rams’ victory over Tellico Plains.

For Deangelo Hardy and his McCallie teammates, their biggest game of the year came last Friday.

Operating behind a highly efficient offensive line, the Blue Tornado sophomore quarterback ran for 227 yards and a touchdown, averaging 9.5 yards per carry in earning the honor of Best of Preps player of the week as sponsored by Waffle House. He also passed for 48 yards.

"He has good instincts. He's very hard to tackle. He's a special athlete," McCallie coach Ralph Potter said following his team's second straight win over top rival Baylor.

A starting cornerback by the end of the 2016 season with only a handful of quarterback snaps, Hardy battled Chris Bowman through preseason camp for the starting quarterback's job.

"We went into fall practice with those two guys taking reps," Potter said. "We knew both were good enough to play other positions, and Chris has had a good year, too (as a starting linebacker)."

(Photo by Mark Gilliland) McCallie's Deangelo Hardy tries to out run Ensworth's Wesley Walker during the game on September 15, 2017.

(Photo by Mark Gilliland) McCallie's Deangelo Hardy tries...

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.

Hardy's instincts Friday most often led him to follow his blockers — tight ends Jordan Starling and Jake Gibson, guards Derrick Stoudemire and River Henry, center Trey Phillips and tackles Adam Smith and Taran Patel — and the same was true for B.J. Harris. The two runners combined for five TDs and 352 of McCallie's 362 yards.

"Deangelo had a good game, but it was a different kind of game. We didn't need to throw that much at all once we figured we could block them," Potter said.

That doesn't mean Hardy can't throw. He passed for 320 yards in a win over Pope John Paul II.

Among other earlier performances were 233 rushing yards against Knoxville Webb, 143 vs. Brentwood Academy and 102 (on two carries) in McCallie's season opener against Chattanooga Christian.

The 5-foot-10, 180-pound Hardy has shown the ability to become a true dual-threat quarterback.

"He has to continue to progress with his passing if that's where he wants to go at the next level," Potter said. "He's still growing. He's still young."

Hardy has the athletic skills as additionally evidenced by his play with McCallie's basketball team and his participation on the Blue Tornado track team.

"He has the instincts," Potter said. "He still makes mistakes and he has to work on his ability to throw. He's very mature for his age. He's very conscientious in the classroom and he wants to do well at all things. He has a hunger for excellence."

There also is the "it" factor, which Potter explained.

"In my terms, it's a guy who's going to make everybody around him better and in the toughest, most adverse, most tense situations, a guy that's going to play his best," he said. "He has that competitive greatness — you're at your best when everything's on the line — and there aren't many of those guys around."

Contact Ward Gossett at or 423-886-4765. Follow him on Twitter @wardgossett.