Last Friday night, I watched Brecksville’s junior quarterback Joe Labas from the moment he started pregame and left at the end of the third quarter. What does he do but throw three TD passes in the fourth quarter.
Listed at 6’3-185, he is all of that. Plays even bigger. With all of his QB skills, I was impressed, as much with his leadership skills and his ability to lead his team. For him, as he told me last night, getting players together to compete is the best thing about playing football. .
My guess that being a leader for other sports is important, as well. Joe has been the starting shortstop on the baseball team since his freshman year and does some pitching. Watched him play basketball last winter. He also started in hoops his 9th grade year. Joe started as the varsity QB his freshman year.
He loves to compete all out. In fact, these are the words that he lives by. Compete in every sport. Compete in school. Compete with friends. I saw it in basketball last winter. Saw it again last Friday night. He does compete.
“Of course, my parents,” was the first answer he gave me, when I asked him who has been the most influential to him. He went on to include all of the coaches who have worked with him to get better.
Not really decided on a college major, but likes history and math classes. Carries a 3.47 in the classroom. Away from sports, the one skill that he would like to have is to play the piano.
Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers rates as one of his top football players to watch. Although he did say that he would trade places with any NFL quarterback for one day, just to get the experience and what it takes to get there. He spends some of his free time watching QB’s on HUDL to learn from them.
Joe’s QB skills are solid. Good arm strength (can throw the 17 yard out). Understands coverage. Can avoid the rush. Threat to run the ball. Always has his eyes downfield looking for the open receiver. Like his poise under pressure and his ability to lead the team.
His most important strength is getting his team ready to play the game. Bringing them together mentally and physically to play a game. His own game preparations are important, as well. Team leader.
Consistency is an area that he feels that needs to improve and maybe the most important area to him.
For him the worst thing about playing football is losing. The best part of playing football is the team relationships.
Joe’s sophomore year in football was “not good.” After healing from a broken wrist, he broke his thumb in week two and missed the rest of the season. This also made for a late start in basketball.
Joe needs to tweak some things in his throwing motion. Needs not to over stride at times. Needs to get better at transferring his weight and getting his hips more involved. All correctable.
As a QB he is accurate. Makes plays. Escapes the rush. Moves the chains. Can spin-it. Best of all, he believes in himself and can lead a team.
Have not ranked my 2021 QB’s for the colleges yet, but Joe is pretty good.