TAMPA – Gaither football has upgraded a lot according to junior quarterback Gavin DenBoer.
DenBoer had a growth spurt this past year growing from 5’10” to 6’0″ and bulking up from 145 lbs to 186 lbs.
After serving as the starter in his first season on varsity as a sophomore, the Cowboys went 4-6 and missed out the playoffs for a second straight season. However, don’t think DenBoer didn’t make strides.
“It felt great,” DenBoer told Prep Sports Scouting. “It’s in the past now and look forward to this season. It gives me the upper hand against the team’s I faced last year.”
He says the team has improved a lot. DenBoer pointed to his entire offense line from left to right: Donovan Jennings, Ian Thomas, Camden Roth, Brandon Williams and Starling Tejada.
“We have a great offense as a team. TJ is a great running back as a power back and a breakaway kid. Passing wise we have great pass blocking. Cayden Jordan and Moe Diallo are two guys I lean on in both the blocking and catching aspect.”
Gaither had made three straight region playoff appearances from 2011-13 under head coach Jason Stokes. DenBoer loves everything Stokes represents and says his a big help in preparing his players for the next level.
“Coach Stokes is a great coach. He runs the program well and does everything he can for the kids to make them feel they have the ability.”
How can the Cowboys get back in the postseason? DenBoer said it starts with this.
“By doing everything that we need to do. If everyone does their own thing and plays their assignment then the team will run itself.”
Starting his football life at age 8 as a quarterback, he played the position until freshman year on JV where he moved to slot receiver and kick returner. He’s back at his natural position, quarterback, and he trains six days a week which includes training at the Performance Compound with Dwight Ross three of those days.
DenBoer said he learned that nothing’s given to you as a freshman and that you have to everyone’s respect.
As for his biggest strengths, he said that is his pre-snap reads and ability to spread the ball around. He wants to improve even further on making his reads faster.
DenBoer doesn’t have his first offer yet, but he’s drawn interest from Division-I Stetson along with Division-II programs Felician College and Iowa Wesleyan and Division-III schools RPI and the University of Chicago.
His biggest role model is his dad, an accountant at Morgan Air Conditioning.
“He’s always a hard worker and he pushes me to do everything I can.”
As for DenBoer’s ultimate goal, he wants to become the person he’s always trained to be.
“I want to make it to the NFL, be better than that one percent and become one of the greatest players in the country.”
He plans to study to become a sports trainer.
Entering his second season on varsity, DenBoer showed off his command of the offense in the preseason opener against Tampa Catholic last week. He is a quick learner and a guy who likes to put the team on his shoulders.
Time and patience is key for DenBoer who is improving with each snap and throw for Gaither. The playoffs won’t be an easy task, but he knows what they need to accomplish to get back there.
Favorite players to watch – Tom Brady
Playlist before games – College football pump-up songs off YouTube
Favorite movies – Jurassic World, Friday Night Lights
Favorite TV show – Friday Night Lights
Fun fact that you think nobody knows – “When I first played sports I was a soccer player in Michigan. I moved down to Florida at age 8.”
Nickname from teammates or friends – “Gunslinger”
Game film: DenBoer’s Hudl tape
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Photo credit: Gaither Football Facebook
Jake Perper is the scout for Prep Sports Scouting. Make sure to follow along for all the updates on Twitter: @JakePerper.
If you have any questions or comments feel free to write below or email Jake at firstname.lastname@example.org.