The junior no longer is a rookie starter on varsity Webber is entering his second season as the starter and hopes to improve on his sophomore year.
“It’s not as much pressure anymore,” said Webber, whose Yellow Jackets open the season tonight at home against Carrollton, Ga. “I think this year, I’m really more comfortable back there”
His comfort is understandable. He plays in the same backfield as senior running back Racean Thomas, who is listed as a five-star recruit by Scout.com. Thomas has committed to play at Auburn.
Webber said Thomas gives Oxford a lot of options.
“He can run the ball and we can pass the ball to him,” he said. “He really spreads it out for us.”
Head coach Ryan Herring agreed.
“Well, he definitely takes away the pressure. People are going to bite up on him a lot just because he’s such a threat. That should help Ty, with our play-action stuff, get people open.”
Herring is entering his first season as head coach of the Yellow Jackets after spending last season at Lincoln. With him comes the pistol offense. Herring believes that Webber’s skill-set “fits perfect” in the pistol.
“He’s got a good arm and quick feet. It’s just like a speedy guy under center in the triple option. He’s still got reads to make whether it’s throwing or running. Something we expect him to be able to do is make some checks for us and put the ball where it’s supposed to be.”
Vital to the success of any team is the play of its offensive line. Herring believes that at some point the offensive line will be better than last year but right now it is a “work in progress.”
That offensive line made its debut in a jamboree last Friday with a 14-10 victory at Oak Mountain. Thomas rushed for 116 yards including a 3-yard touchdown.
Webber completed 12 for 17 for 114 yards and a touchdown pass.
Moving from being a sophomore to a junior, Webber will be expected to become more of a leader this season. However, leadership is no burden to him.
“Just being the quarterback period, I have to be a leader on the field,” Webber said. “Whether I’m a sophomore, junior or next year when I’m a senior, I have to be a leader on towards the team.”
The Yellow Jackets finished last season with a 6-4 record and fifth in Class 6A, Region 7, one spot short of the playoffs. Herring has knows how to eliminate what happened in 2012. He has only one goal for the season: “Win every game we play.”