When the clock ran out on Queen Creek’s season last November, sophomore quarterback Devin Larsen, saw it – as most do – as an opportunity to learn.
Most, however, don’t get to compete on the national stage and receive elite-level individual training. Larsen was one of 10 athletes from Arizona on at “The Opening” in Oakland, California. At the end of May, he also flew to Canton, Michigan, for a QB University sponsored event at High Velocity Sports Complex. He felt the two camps were an important part of the process.
Queen Creek lost three games in 2016 and those three losses – including the 37-12 semifinal loss to Williams Field – weighs on his mind, but that’s part of the maturation process.
“They had a great team,” Larsen said. “With a few adjustments, we’re capable of bringing that type of success over here as well.”
Williams Field and fellow class of 2019 quarterback, Zac Shepherd, a friend of Larsen, went on to capture the 5A state title in 2016. That should motivate a hungry Larsen and returning Bulldogs group.
Steps in the right direction started after that heartbreaking loss to Williams Field.
In the winter months, Larsen played varsity basketball for Queen Creek. He contributed to a 4A squad who just missed out on the playoffs. His goal was to get bigger in the weight room, as he knows that will be essential in his transition to an upperclassman. Aside from gaining size, he knows cleaner and quicker footwork is the ultimate goal for quarterbacks.
Heading into 2017, Larsen has lofty goals set for his classmates and the Bulldogs. But falling to your rival in the state semifinal will do that.
“We can have a really talented team,” Larsen said. “Losing a talented running back in Jace (Koester) and an OL that featured Mike Young hurts. We will be a bit smaller, but Coach is implementing some changes to accommodate.”
On offense, the Bulldogs will need Crew Turner and Garret Duke to get open. Dylan Borja will have major shoes to fill at the running back position, taking over for 1,700-yard rusher Koester. Borja will also fill a hole at linebacker to complementing defensive end Dante Coleman.
As spring football practices rolled around, more attention and hype came in the direction of Larsen. Donovan Dooley, founder/director of QB University, contacted Larsen to attend his prestigious quarterback skills event.
“It was unique to compete against some other talented kids from multiple states, which I otherwise wouldn’t get to do,” Larsen said.
Larsen has been under center his entire football career and hopes that trend continues into the next phase of his career. He still has two seasons of football left for coach Travis Schuerman. As he gets more attention from schools, he has remained his humble self. He’s just busier than usual.
“It’s always been a goal to play NCAA football,” Larsen said. “As for the rest of the summer. I’ll be at a BYU camp in mid-June and then Washington right after. I am working with my own coach Casey Donovan a few times a week.”