clear
Saturday May 28th, 2016 6:32PM

Spring football: Gonzalez set to take over QB spot at GHS

By Jeff Hart Sports Reporter
Related Articles
  Contact Editor
GAINESVILLE -- They are daunting numbers to say the least: 13,077 career passing yards (state record), 218 career touchdowns (state record), 46 total victories, one state championship.<br /> <br /> But for diminutive Gainesville senior quarterback Mikey Gonzalez, what departed Deshaun Watson was able to accomplish in a stellar four-year career at the helm of the Red Elephants offense has no bearing on what fans should expect in the upcoming season.<br /> <br /> It was the biggest question for Gainesville heading into the recently-completed spring practice. And it is the first of a series of questions we will explore around the area this week as we prepare for what should be another exciting, and, hopefully, fruitful high school football season.<br /> <br /> Gainesville opens the 2014 season on the road against Class AAAAAA Grayson Aug. 29th.<br /> <br /> "I'm not Deshaun. No one is. I'm not going to try to be," Gonzalez said this week as he reflected on his first spring practice under center and trying to replace a high school legend. "My game will be different than his. More quick passes and just try to be as efficient as I can. If I try to do things the way he did I won't be as successful as I want to be."<br /> <br /> The differences will be noticeable right from the beginning. Watson was a lanky 6-foot-4 while Gonzalez stands 5-foot-8 in tall cleats. However, Gainesville coach Bruce Miller did not hesitate coming into the spring practices to name Gonzalez the No. 1 starter.<br /> <br /> "First of all, he has been in the system for three years and has waited his turn. Second, he knows the system and was 19-2 as the JV starter in the same offense," Miller said. "It's his job to lose. He had a great spring."<br /> <br /> Initially it was thought a battle between Gonzalez and junior Mesiah Dosrsey would be the focus of the spring. But Miller said having both on the field at the same time made them a more dynamic team.<br /> <br /> "Mesiah is one of five guys for us that are tremendous weapons and being able to use him in other areas will be a key for us," Miller said. "I think both will get snaps under center during the season but I really like the offense with Mikey at quarterback and Mesiah in the Y-slot."<br /> <br /> The Elephants will once again employ what should be an explosive spread attack. They will have senior Mike Byrd, who had over 1,000 yards rushing and 700 yards receiving, returning at running back. Seniors Rodney Lackey and Chris Williamson and juniors Toddrick Turner and Dorsey give Gainesville another talented receiving corps.<br /> <br /> "Mikey's job will be to distribute the ball around. He was very efficient in practice in doing that," Miller said. "We're not going to change what we do. Mikey knows how to run this offense, just in a different way than Deshaun."<br /> <br /> However, Miller said a key for spring and the coming fall practices was finding the right pieces on the offensive line.<br /> <br /> "We lost three guys off the line from last year so that is a big priority for us," Miller said. "Deshaun was able to use his speed to get out of trouble so some of our deficiencies were not as glaring. Mikey isn't as much of a runner as Deshaun was so we'll need to be able to protect better in the passing game."<br /> <br /> Gonzalez said he is ready for the challenge of following in the large footprints left by Watson.<br /> <br /> "I know there will be comparisons by fans and stuff but I don't compare myself to Deshaun," Gonzalez said. "He was a once-in-a-lifetime player. There probably won't be another like him. I'm just going to go out there and do what I know how to do.<br /> <br /> "I know the offense and I think we'll be just as good as we have been the last few years. If we run things right, I don't think we can be stopped. We have a lot of weapons on the field."<br /> <br /> Miller didn't believe Gonzalez felt anointed to the starting spot just because it might be his turn. He was right.<br /> <br /> "It's nice to know (the coaches) have confidence in me," Gonzalez said. "But I'm going to go out and play thinking the spot is not mine. I have to work hard to stay there and that's what I'm going to do. I thought I had a good spring but we'll see what happens."<br /> <br /> Great players always move on. But can the Elephants make another deep run in the playoffs less than a year after Watson's departure?<br /> <br /> "We have enough talent on both sides of the ball to make a run," Miller said. "How good the lines are going to be will determine that just as much as who will be the quarterback."
© Copyright 2016 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
2014 Top 10: Looking back at the top sports stories of the year
It was another year for the record books in 2014, mostly for the right reasons -- state championships, new challenges and new stars taking their turn to shine. But there were also plenty of big stories that reminded us that sports -- like life -- isn
11:55PM ( 1 year ago )
NASCAR K&N Pro Series schedules set for 2015
DAYTONA BEACH, FL - NASCAR announced recently the 2015 schedules for its top developmental regional touring series, the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and NASCAR K&N Pro Series West.
2:00PM ( 1 year ago )
Lanierland boys final: Johnson makes history with win over Red Elephants <b> (VIDEO) </b>
Ever the aggressor on the court, Johnson
8:55AM ( 1 year ago )
Sports
Lanierland boys semifinals: Unbeatens Johnson, Red Elephants roll into finals
Both Gainesville and Johnson powered their way into the Lanierland Tournament finals on Monday. The two undefeated teams will meet Tuesday for the title at 8:30 p.m. at Chestatee.
10:01AM ( 1 year ago )
Lanierland girls semifinals: GHS, Lady Falcons advance to finals <b> (VIDEO) </b>
Flowery Branch and Gainesville each took impressive wins Monday to advance to the Lanierland Tournament finals...
10:00AM ( 1 year ago )
Girls basketball: Lady Tigers advance to Pickens Holiday finals
The Dawson County girls basketball advanced to the finals of the Pickens Holiday Classic after an 81-54 win over Riverwood Monday.
11:48PM ( 1 year ago )
High School Sports
Golf: Ralston, Forrester amongst 11 area golfers named All-State
Gainesville's Spencer Ralston was named Class AAAAA boys player of the year, while North Hall's Bartley Forrester was named first team for Class AAAA boys in the 2016 Georgia High School Golf Coaches Association (GHSGCA) All-State team released this week.
By AccessWDUN Staff
7:19PM ( 46 minutes from now )
McCoy starts strong, but Bulldogs golf struggles on 1st day of NCAAs
The No. 6-ranked Georgia men’s golf team opened the NCAA Championships in 19th place on Friday.
By UGA Sports Communications
1:14PM ( 5 hours ago )
Larson closing in on first NASCAR Sprint Cup win
Kyle Larson is close – and he knows it. Two weeks ago at Dover International Speedway, he ran a near second to Matt Kenseth in the AAA 400, dogging the race winner to the finish line on the final green-flag run.
By Reid Spencer-NASCAR Wire Service
8:00AM ( 10 hours ago )
Kanaan leads Carb Day practice for Sunday’s Indy 500
He may be starting 18th in Sunday’s 100th running of the Indianapolis 500, but Tony Kanaan believes he has a car that can win the historic race.
By IndyCar Media
1:54AM ( 16 hours ago )
Markakis has 2-run single in 8th, Braves top Marlins 4-2
Nick Markakis hit a tie-breaking, two-run single off third baseman Nick Prado's glove with two outs and the bases loaded in the eighth inning and the Atlanta Braves beat the Miami Marlins 4-2 on Friday night for a rare home win.
By The Associated Press
11:06PM ( 19 hours ago )