At the helm of senior-led Salisbury (Md.) Wicomico High School last fall was
junior quarterback Wayne Warren. He piloted the Indians to an 11-1 season,
perfect until dropping a 20-19 heartbreaker to Harwood (Md.) Southern in the
Class 2A East Region championship - just two wins from playing in the state
"It was tough, but of course we're over it by now," says Warren. "It
was a good year, though."
"One thing I would say I did well was leading the team - keeping everybody's
heads straight," the signal caller continues. "You get into the game, mess
up and get unfocused. That's when I would try to lead the team and get
them focused. It would be my job to get that thing clicking. People
kind of looked up to me."
The 6'1" 202-pound quarterback threw for 984 yards on 52-of-105 passing in
the 2006 season, picking up 19 yards per completion. Warren's passing
attempts were somewhat sparse, but he was efficient with 17 touchdowns against
just three interceptions. Wicomico ran the ball predominately - 79 percent
of the time - in their Wing-T offense.
"We had an all-state running back on our team and another who was an
all-conference fullback," Warren explains. "A lot of our offense was
mostly running, but when I did pass, I took advantage of it. I competed
whenever I could compete."
system needs running backs, and we have running backs. But this year, the
offense is going to be a lot more on my shoulders because I'm like the only
returning starter," he adds. "I'm pretty much positive that I'm going to
pass a lot more this year."
"I'm a dual-threat quarterback," describes Warren, who recently was timed
running a 4.5 40. "I can throw the ball, but also I can escape out of the
pocket and make something happens when the play breaks down."
Though his opportunities in the offense as a junior were not many, the
Eastern Shore athlete has already excited college coaches with his film and
netted a pair of early scholarship offers.
"I'm being recruited by Maryland at College Park, Virginia, Syracuse,
Stanford, Rutgers, North Carolina, Duke, Florida State - I'm being recruited by
a whole lot of colleges," Warren says. But the only two who have offered
me so far are Syracuse and Stanford. I believe that Maryland is about
ready to offer, and University of Virginia is about ready to offer, too."
"Syracuse wants me as an athlete, but the rest of the schools want me at a
quarterback," he shares. "Safety would probably be my defensive position.
They have seen how I move around on film and like me as an athlete."
"When you're watching a team run a lot, it's kind of hard to see a
quarterback when he doesn't have a lot of throwing opportunities," Warren
laments. "I definitely want to get to these combines and camps to show
that I can throw the ball, rather than just hand the ball off or run the ball."
The dual-threat quarterback will be on display next weekend for a heavy
gathering of schools at the Penn State Nike Camp. He also will participate
in one-day college camps in June, though those have yet to be scheduled.
One might bring Warren to The Farm.
"I'm not too sure yet, but I may be out there sometime in the summer.
I'm trying to get out to Stanford," he says. "My coach and I were talking
about that the other day, and he mentioned about him coaching at one of their
camps. I'll probably make a visit out there to Stanford and see the camp -
throw the ball around a little bit."
Warren has already visited Syracuse, making an unofficial visit during his
spring break with senior teammate Josh White, one of two Wicomico players who
signed with the Orange in February.
"It was really cool. They sound like they really want me up there,"
Warren reports. "I haven't been out to Stanford yet, but I've talked to
them a lot. I like Stanford. It seems like a cool place. Coach
[David] Shaw and Coach [Jim] Harbaugh are the two main guys I talk to."
Shaw is the lead recruiter for Warren, not only recruiting that geographical
region but also Stanford's offensive coordinator.
"He's a really cool, down-to-earth guy," the recruit relates. "He
sounds like a really nice guy. He wouldn't try to lie to you just to try
to get you. He seems like he tells you the truth and is a really truthful
and honest person."
With several suitors close to home, it is likely that Warren will have plenty
of options that don't require him to cross the country for college.
Distance concerns would appear on paper to be one of the great hurdles for
Stanford to clear in this recruitment, but the Maryland man appears intrigued -
if not outright enthused - at the prospect of going to school out West.
"Honestly, I like it because Stanford is out in California, and you get a
great education at Stanford," Warren begins. "Plus, you spend a few years
of your life somewhere other than where you grew up. I've been on the East
Coast my whole life, basically, so I wouldn't mind going out to California.
If I'm spending four or five years out there in California, that's a great
experience to have. Plus, the weather out there is nice all the time,
rather than being up in Syracuse where it's cold. I've grown up
here in Maryland, so I wouldn't mind going on a vacation."
"My top two would be Stanford and Syracuse because they're the only ones who
have offered so far," he assesses. "Besides that, I don't have any real
top favorites. Hopefully I'll have that by the end of the summer or
mid-summer, when all of these camps and combines get over with."
While most recruits have a well-defined list of favorites, decision criteria
and a commitment deadline, Warren is just beginning his recruiting journey.
He does not know whether he will made his decision before or after his senior
season. He'd like to find a place where he can get playing time, but the
other factors for his decision are still nebulous.
The focus for Warren today is clear enough. He is sitting down for the
first time to take the SAT. The self-described "A/B student" with a
cumulative 3.3 GPA takes a course load of all Certificate of Merit courses at
Wicomico High School. His senior year will be a mixture of AP classes and
courses at a nearby community college to get a head start on college credits.
Wayne Warren is also getting a good start on what will be an interesting
college recruitment. Stay tuned as we follow the evolution of his story
through the coming months, including a possible summer stop at Stanford.
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