The Pascagoula football team has a shot at being special in 2014 with plenty of talent across the board, but the success of the team will again rely on quarterback play.
Pascagoula has a strong group of senior leaders in receiver Jaylen Smith, defensive end Keith Joseph Jr. and defensive tackle Jauan Collins.
Those three players all have Division I scholarship offers and there are several other Panthers who have a chance to earn their own offers this season.
While there may be plenty of college coaches keeping a close eye on Pascagoula this season, all that talent will go for naught if the quarterback position isn't settled early on.
If head coach Lewis Sims' lack of concern this week is any sign, Pascagoula will be just fine at quarterback.
"(Offensive coordinator Kevin Fant) knows as much as anybody about quarterbacks and teaches our guys from the inside out," Sims said.
Fant, a former starting quarterback for Mississippi State and Moss Point, has been one of the better play-callers on the Coast in recent years and he's done a good job of developing quarterbacks like Stacey Warren and Drew Dunn.
The two quarterbacks he has to work with this year are senior Jaylen Glaude and sophomore Granlund Torjusen.
Glaude has an edge on the competition after he's proven capable in a handful of appearances at quarterback over the last two years.
He has bulked up to 6-foot-2, 220 pounds and saw some time at defen
sive end in the spring, but Glaude has been groomed to step into the starting quarterback role in recent years.
"Jaylen learned from Stacey Warren and Drew Dunn," Sims said. "He's in his fourth spring with coach Fant."
Torjusen may be just a sophomore, but he also received some snaps with the varsity squad last year.
With the full name of Henry Granlund Torjusen III, Sims has taken to referring to him as "HG3."
"He's just a great kid," Sims said. "He saw varsity action four or five times (in 2013). What he was able to do was learn. He had Kevin Fant for a year coaching him. Kevin is coaching him as if he's a junior now.
"To have two experienced guys, that really makes (Fant) comfortable. He knows their abilities and knows what they can do."
Whoever is behind center will have arguably the best receiver in the state in Smith to throw to.
So far, Smith likes what he's seen out of both players.
"They have two completely different play styles," Smith said. "Jaylen is a gun slinger. He'll throw it 85 yards if you let him. Granlund is more a short passer, but efficient. Jaylen is efficient too, but he sometimes overthrows. I like the competition. I like catching passes from them."
A great deal could happen between the start of fall camp and the Aug. 22 season opener against Moss Point, but Pascagoula appears in good shape no matter who winds up behind center.
Contact, Patrick Magee at email@example.com and follow him @Patrick_Magee.