Commentary

HS QB lucky to have learned from Luck

Updated: December 8, 2011, 4:50 PM ET
By Brandon Parker | ESPNHS.com

Growing up in Texas, Jeremiah Briscoe had no shortage of quarterbacks to admire. Fortunately for him, the biggest gunslinger in his hometown of Houston happened to be teammates with his close friend's older brother.

"I remember he had this old, old junky Suburban and I got to ride in the back of it once," said the Stratford (Houston) senior quarterback. "I thought it was the coolest thing in the world because I was riding in Andrew Luck's car."

Yup, that Andrew Luck. The one who has quarterbacked himself into Heisman Trophy contention while at Stanford. And the one who, by this time next year, should have the type of money that assures he'll never drive an old, junky Suburban again.

Briscoe was in middle school when Luck was the star quarterback at Stratford. And the wide-eyed Briscoe made sure he never missed a home game. During Luck's three years as a starter for the Spartans, he threw for 7,139 yards and 53 touchdowns, but that's not what most impressed those who witnessed his exploits.

"The way he carries himself and how he affects everyone around him is amazing," Briscoe said. "He's a leader on and off the field and has what it takes to be great."

These attributes surfaced in Luck's first game as a starter in 2005. It's rare for sophomores to line up at quarterback for the Spartans, but it didn't take long for coach Eliot Allen to realize Luck's extraordinary ability.

"We're in a tight, low-scoring game and the offense needed a good drive, so all of a sudden you see this quiet, shy sophomore kid put his arms around the huddle and his head is bobbing as he's screaming at the other players," said Allen, who still coaches at Stratford. "Sure enough, he put together a great drive and after the game, the seniors were like, 'Oh my gosh, this kid's a leader.'"

This fall, Allen and the Spartans were in need of similar leadership at the quarterback position. But as fate would have it, their newest signal-caller was the same one who had idolized and observed the greatest QB in school history.

Texas football
Tom Hauck/ESPNHSJeremiah Briscoe threw for 1,863 yards and 12 touchdowns in his senior year at Stratford (Houston).
After starring at Second Baptist (Houston) as a junior, the highly touted Briscoe -- who's rated the nation's No. 18 quarterback by ESPNU -- transferred to Stratford this summer to take over the same offense Luck had commanded. The transition to a complex scheme and Class 4A competition wouldn't be easy, though. That's why Briscoe's second encounter with Luck would become just as memorable as the first.

While in town for the summer, Luck stopped by 7-on-7 practice at Stratford and took time to offer tips to Briscoe.

"This time, I got a chance to talk to him as someone who's more mature and knows the game a lot better, so he was able to help me with pre-snap reads and progression," Briscoe said. "He was also practicing and conditioning on his own, so I got to see the effort that it takes to reach his level."

After enduring a slow start to the season, Briscoe kept those things in mind until finding a rhythm that resulted in 1,863 yards, 12 touchdowns and a 7-5 record for the Spartans. Briscoe also harked back to Luck's recruiting advice as he considers offers from the likes of Arkansas and Baylor.

"He said to be patient in recruiting," Briscoe said. "He said a lot of things happen and it can be an absolute roller coaster, but ultimately, I'll end at one place and be where God has a plan for me."

And of course, Briscoe will never forget his first meeting with one of college football's best quarterbacks -- even if the onetime Stratford legend doesn't remember.

"I told him about seeing him as a kid and it was funny because he didn't remember me," said Briscoe with a laugh. "Of course, for me, I remember it like it was yesterday as a little kid. I didn't mind, though. He's still a great person to learn from, and it's a blessing to be able to have that connection."

Brandon Parker covers high school sports for ESPNHS magazine and ESPNHS.com. Follow him on Twitter @brandoncparker or email him at brandon.c.parker@espn.com.