Dadeville QB Tolbert named finalist for 4A Back of the YearPublished 9:36am Tuesday, December 31, 2013
C.J. Tolbert came into his senior season with a track record of being a dangerous offensive weapon for the Dadeville Tigers.
But that was as running back. This season was a little bit different, as he took the helm as the starting signal caller for the Tigers.
New position? No problem. Tolbert excelled with his arm and legs, leading Dadeville to an 11-2 record and earning a first-team Class 4A All-State selection for his gridiron exploits. Now he is a finalist for Class 4A Back of the Year after accounting for more than 2,600 yards of total offense and 43 touchdowns.
As amazing a year as he had, Coach Richard White said it wasn’t anything outside of Tolbert’s realm of abilities.
“He did what we asked him to do,” White said. “Heading into the spring, we didn’t know who was going to be the quarterback for us. C.J. performed better, and when you put a natural running back at quarterback, and he is able to throw, it adds another dimension to what you can do. He did it with his legs and arms, and someone as multi-talented as he is put a strain on the defense.”
Tolbert’s transition wasn’t seamless to start the year. But after the third game, White knew the Tigers had their man.
“After the second and third games, we knew,” White said. “We were seeing progress in every game, but when he ran for nearly 300 yards in that second game and followed that up by throwing for 275 yards, we knew we had something special.”
Special was the word to describe Tolbert’s season.
He ran for 1,543 yards and 27 scores. He also threw for 1,115 yards and 16 touchdowns.
His offensive exploits were good enough to rank second in Class 4A in total offense.
In addition to being an exceptional player for the Tigers, White called Tolbert a shining example of a great student and person.
“He comes from a good family,” White said. “Both of his parents are educators, and he’s academically responsible. He cares about making good grades, and he’s a very respectful kid. There’s not an ounce of trouble with C.J. I don’t think he’s ever been sent to the office for being tardy. That’s the kind of kid he is. He’s an outstanding young man.”
For Dadeville, this is the second instance where the Tigers have had a player named a finalist for 4A Back of the Year.
The first time was in 2010, when former DHS signal-caller and current West Alabama quarterback Kyle Caldwell won the award.