TAMPA – Cyrus Wade is the man under center at Middleton for the second straight season. That bodes well for the emerging Tigers.
The 2018 Tigers quarterback started his varsity career at Tampa Bay Tech before the transfer to Middleton this past season.
Wade and the Tigers went 5-5 in 2016 and 2-2 in Class 5A-District 10 play just missing the playoffs. The 5’11, 160-pounder says his season was solid overall.
“Coming into spring football after my sophomore year I didn’t feel like I had much control of what was going on around me, we (at Tampa bay tech) had a new quarterback coming in with a lot of excitement around his name so after trying to battle it out for the spot I eventually made the switch to receiver,” Wade told Prep Sports Scouting.
I feel that I’m a quarterback at heart so long story short I transferred. After working out with a private school, two weeks before the school year came back I found out that I hadn’t been accepted which placed me into the hands of my neighborhood school, Middleton. When I got there I was “thrown into the fire “. Being that the first game was a little over a week away that’s about as much time I had to learn the entire playbook. With help from one of the seniors (Christopha Bell) I got it down and became more comfortable with each rep and in each game. Throughout the year, I learned that as a quarterback you have to stay calm. Those guys in that huddle look to you for guidance and leadership, nobody wants to follow a frantic leader.”
Wade says he’ll earn snaps here and there at receiver if need be, but he’s focused on playing quarterback, a position that he calls natural.
The rising senior didn’t start playing football until age 11. He played basketball and baseball before that. Basketball was Wade’s first true love.
“Starting out I knew that I wanted to play quarterback, but seeing that it was my first time ever putting on pads I just wanted to play,” Wade said. “I’ve played everything from special teams to running back including offensive and defensive line. I finally got my shot as the starting quarterback the following year on JV and helped lead my team to the playoffs. My confidence has always come from within, I’m driven by the hate of losing and I know what I’m capable of doing.”
Wade pointed to his intelligence as his biggest strength.
“No matter what position I’m in when it comes to competition I’m always thinking about my opponent and how I could beat them,” he said. “My biggest weakness as a quarterback would be that since I’m always thinking I don’t always play as relaxed as I should. Sometimes you just have to let it rip and trust that you’re making the right decisions.”
He has yet to earn an offer, but he’s drawn interest from Harvard, Cornell, Bethune-Cookman and Air Force. He says Air Force has been showing the most interest as of late.
Speed is something that Wade knows will help separate him from the best in terms of extending plays with his legs. He says he can already see a difference in his speed compared to last season and he credits Middleton track coach Derrick Rackard for that.
Wade says he doesn’t have one particular role model, but he tends to pick traits of certain people including Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas, Arizona Cardinals safety Tyrann Mathieu, Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson and Chance the Rapper.
“It’s a pretty diverse list but each man has a trait that I would like myself to have, everything from drive to creativity to strong leadership skills,” Wade said.
Fred Reid has been on the Middleton sidelines as the head coach the past three seasons. He went from a 0-10 team in 2014 to a 2-8 team in 2015 to a .500 team this past season. Wade calls it great playing for Reid.
“He [Reid] isn’t one of those it’s my way or the highway type of guys, he’s willing to hear you out in order to put the team in the best position to be successful,” Wade said.
For Wade, his ultimate goal is to play college football.
“The NFL isn’t the reason I’m playing, I honestly want football to pay for my college education. I love the game and appreciate the game but I love it enough to understand that one day it will come to an end and you’ll have to hang up those cleats,” he said. “After that, my goal is to become a head strength and conditioning coach for a college or NFL football program and open up my own training facility on the side.”
Overall smarts and realization are what separates Wade. He knows what he can and he knows what he needs to do to get better. I love how he wants to use football to earn a free college education and better his overall knowledge. Look for Wade to flourish as a senior.
Favorite players to watch – Isaiah Thomas (Celtics) and Tyrann Mathieu (Cardinals)
Playlist before games – Awolnation, Lil’ Uzi Vert, Chance The Rapper, Kevin Gates
Favorite movies – Comedy and action
Favorite TV shows – Martin
Fun fact that you think nobody knows – “I have strong interests in spoken word poetry, tattoos and pop music.”
Nicknames from teammates or friends – “C.Y.”, “Wade”, “You-boy”
Game film: Wade’s Hudl tape
Jake Perper is the founder of Prep Sports Scouting. Make sure to follow along for all the updates on Twitter: @JakePerper.