Early on in the first quarter Friday, Reeltown quarterback Iverson Hooks was under pressure from the Fayetteville Wolves.
Instead of panicking — like many sophomore quarterbacks at the varsity level would do — Hooks rolled out to the right, made a defender miss a tackle and kept his composure. He found Rhasheed Wilson in the end zone, thew a dart and completed the 25-yard touchdown pass.
“He’s a quarterback first,” Reeltown coach Matt Johnson said. “What’s been most impressive watching him grow is the fact that when he’s moving around, his eyes are still downfield looking for receivers. You see a lot of guys with his athletic ability, the first little bit of pressure, they’re tucking and running.”
Although Hooks tries to run the offense first, he can certainly use his legs when he wants to be. Hooks used both his passing and running attack to earn Outlook Player of the Week honors.
Efficiency was the name of the game for Hooks in his passing game. He went 5-for-6 for 80 yards, and Johnson said Hooks gets his help from his receivers.
“Our receivers work on scrambling because they know he does have some good speed,” Johnson said. “A lot of people pack the box with our run game so we are going to get pressured a lot. They did a good job with scramble drills and finding grass and getting open.”
But Hooks also can certainly work wonders in the run game if he needs to. Two weeks ago, Hooks had the momentum-turning touchdown when he broke free on the first play of the second half for a 65-yard touchdown. This week against Fayetteville, Hooks needed just five attempts to gain 58 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
Hooks adds to the plentiful depth Reeltown is developing at running back. With Cameron Faison, who had four rushing touchdowns, and Tyvon Waver, who scored once, plus the addition of Tre Tre Hughley who continues to get stronger and rushed for 47 yards and a touchdown this week, there is no shortage of options for the Rebels on the ground.
“(Hooks) is another running back back there,” Johnson said. “We hadn’t done it a whole lot as far as designed runs, but a lot of it is just his reads. That’s a whole new animal. I’m a defensive guy and I do not like seeing a running quarterback from my standpoint, so I know a lot of other (opposing defenses) don’t like seeing it either.”
With Hooks being just a sophomore, Johnson and the Rebels have plenty of time to develop him. They should’ve had even more if not for an ACL tear in the final week of the preseason last year, but after Hooks had his surgery and went through his rehabbing process, he picked up right where he left off.
Now, the main goal will be to keep Hooks hungry and wanting more.
“We just want him to continue to grow,” Johnson said. “It’s the same message we have for the whole program is don’t get complacent and don’t put yourself on a pedestal. I don’t want him to get a mentality that he’s a big dog now because that’s not what it’s about. And that hasn’t happened. He’s a team player. But any time you have young players with success he’s having and the ability he has, you’ve gotta do that.”