ST. GEORGE Adam Timo has been a household name to high school football fans, especially those in southern Utah, ever since he burst onto the scene during the state tournament his sophomore year. His notoriety proceeded to shoot through the roof after committing to BYU early in his junior season at Snow Canyon High School.
With so many accolades already to his credit, it's hard to believe the 6-foot-2, 190-pound tailback still has his senior season of high school football ahead of him.
"He's the total package, he's just an athlete," Snow Canyon coach Rick Secrist said.
That athleticism will be tested like it never has before. Timo was recruited by BYU to be a running back, and that's where he's played almost exclusively during both his sophomore and junior seasons. The scenario is much different this time around.
Snow Canyon graduated 19 starters from last year, and the coaching staff will be leaning on Timo more so than ever.
"We're lucky in a way we have Adam Timo, as a coaching staff we're figuring out ways to best utilize him. He's our best player, and my philosophy is if I'm going to go down I'm going to go down with my best players on the field," Secrist said. "We're going to ask him to do things he hasn't done at Snow Canyon yet."
Most notably he'll be Snow Canyon's starting quarterback, and defensively he'll either start at safety or linebacker.
"He knows for the first time in his high school career he's the man. With 19 seniors last year he could kind of hide behind those guys, but this year he's going to have a big X on his back," Secrist said. "I think that's made him more determined."
Timo rushed for 1,276 yards and 25 touchdowns last year in only nine games, but in Snow Canyon's spread offense he'll still carry the ball plenty from his quarterback position. Secrist says Timo is a skilled thrower as well. During 7-on-7 camps throughout the summer, he really started to grasp the offense and understand what reads to make in what situations.
As for being one of the only returning starters, Timo says he loves the challenge.
"I feel a bit of pressure, but it's great to have the seniors from my grade coming up and we're all pulling together. It's like a brotherhood, and we're getting the job done. All of practice we've been working hard. I'm looking forward to it a lot," Timo said.
Snow Canyon plays twice in Utah County this season (Aug. 29 at Orem, Sept. 12 at Timpanogos), enabling BYU fans to get two glimpses of their future tailback.
Timo hopes to put on a defensive show as well."I love to be aggressive, and that's where it mostly happens on defense," Timo said.
Region 9 (4A) projections
(Preseason rankings are based on coaches' votes)
1. PINE VIEW: The Panthers are loaded again and ready to make another run at Rice-Eccles Stadium. Last year they took a 13-0 record into the 4A title game only to be trounced by Timpview. Coach Ray Hosner said it was an eye-opener from a physical standpoint and the entire program has worked to get stronger in the offseason. Hosner even put together a tougher preseason schedule to prepare his players for physical teams. Kevin Moss, Justin Lytle and Jorden Gary are all returning starters on the offensive line. Justin Ence will be the primary quarterback this year. He as two great targets to throw to in Robert Evans and Taylor Orr. Defensively, linebacker Adam Bangarter is back after leading the team with 95 tackles a year ago. 2007 RECORD: 13-1. PLAYOFFS: Lost in 4A state championship.
2. DIXIE: After 14 seasons at Fremont, coach Blaine Monkres is now the head coach at Dixie, and his presence is bringing about significant change. Dixie is now a spread offense team, which gives quarterback Mike Sharp the opportunity to shine. His four primary receivers will be Dalton Smith and Jake Mills at wideout and Ian Gatchell and Chunner Nyberg in the slot. The offensive line isn't picking up the pass blocking schemes as quickly as Monkres would like, but he's confident it will happen soon. In the trenches, Logan Taele and Logan Lloyd will be key players on both sides of the ball. 2007 RECORD: 6-4. PLAYOFFS: Lost in first round.
3. SNOW CANYON: Despite a superstar quarterback in Adam Timo, the Warriors only return three starters. Coach Rick Secrist acknowledged, however, with Timo running the spread offense, anything is possible. Timo may not rush for the 1,276 yards he did as a running back last year, but he's got several quality weapons to throw the ball to. Wide receiver Andrew Johnston is one of Snow Canyon's three returning starters, while converted tight end Chase Frei will see plenty of balls thrown his way as well. The lone starter on the defensive side of the ball is defensive end Jordan Chapman, who had 24 tackles a year ago. 2007 RECORD: 5-4. PLAYOFFS: Missed the playoffs.
Region 9 (3A) Projections
(Preseason rankings are based on coaches' votes)
1. HURRICANE: With 10 offensive returning starters and six defensive returning starters, it's obvious why expectations are so high for the Tigers. Lineman Ryan Butler will be a three-year starter, and was a first-team all-stater last year. Cornerback Gary Bracken was a second-team all-stater a year ago. Then there's running back Gordie Dotson. He rushed for 1,200 yards his sophomore year and nearly 1,600 yards his junior year. If he stays healthy, he may flirt with 2,000 yards. Justin Edwards and Riley Pentico are also returning on the offensive line, with quarterback Jase Langston back as well. As good as Hurricane will be offensively, coach Chris Homer admits the defensive has more holes to fill. Linebacker isn't one of them with Riley Pentico and Ian Gates. 2007 RECORD: 3-8. PLAYOFFS: Lost in first round.
2. CEDAR: Coach Todd Peacock isn't quite sure what to think of this season. Usually when his teams have success, it's because there are a bunch of returning starters. He doesn't have quite as many of those this year, but the JV team had a great season last year. Realistically, things could go either way this year. Running back Pat Gardner is one of the fastest players in 3A, and he's strong. Fullback Trent Grover is coming off an 800- yard rushing season as a junior and recently benched 345 pounds. Senior Casey Harris will likely start at another running back. A pair of juniors, Kai Eldredge and Jackson Carter, are competing at quarterback. There isn't much experience on the offensive line, which is an obvious concern. Defensively, Cedar will be particularly strong, with Ryan Decker and Jordan Lee anchoring the defensive end positions. 2007 RECORD: 8-4. PLAYOFFS: Lost in quarterfinals.
3. CANYON VIEW: The Wing-T offense just never caught on under former coach Randy Hunter, but new coach Alex Huxford hopes things will be different in his pro-set offense. Gentry Julian will get the starting nod at quarterback, despite no high school experience at the position. Even though Julian will be throwing the ball quite a bit, he'll also be handing it off to tailbacks Tyler Bateman and Shane Hughes. Bateman's the No. 1 guy at the spot, but he'll also play linebacker, opening up playing time for Hughes. Huxford acknowledges that it may take some time for his lineman to grasps different blocking schemes. Defensively, AJ Cozzens leads the way at free safety. 2007 RECORD: 0-9. PLAYOFFS: Missed the playoffs.
4. DESERT HILLS: Coach Kevin Cuthbertson is optimistic about success for the first=year school. With about 10 seniors and a group of talented underclassmen, he believes the Thunder should be competitive right away. Must of Desert Hills' key players will start both ways this year, led in the trenches by Brad Roper and Quentin Owen. Chase Webster will get the starting nod at quarterback, with Butch Hatch and Berkeley Ward starting at running back and fullback respectively. Hatch and Ward will also start at middle linebacker. Cuthbertson, who was previously an assistant at Pine View and Dixie, says he hopes to be a balanced running and passing team.2007 RECORD: N/A. PLAYOFFS: N/A.