With a returning quarterback and depth behind him, the Wylie East Raiders feel great about transitioning to a new offense this season.
Jaden Hubbard returns after taking over at quarterback last season for the Raiders. In 81 passes last season, he threw for 535 yards and three touchdowns. Head coach Marcus Gold has liked his development this offseason, including getting stronger in the weight room.
“Jaden has an extremely strong arm and is an extremely smart kid,” Gold said. “It’s all going to come down to how comfortable and confident he can get in our new offense. He’s going to have to spread the ball around a little bit more from last year.”
Hubbard is continuing to progress as a player and Gold thinks he can stand out in his senior season as the team began two-a-days on Aug. 1.
“He’s got some more experience being a senior,” Gold said. “He’s got a great arm, but we want to be able to mix up our passes and play quick, short passes and throw it downfield. He can also continue to get better running the ball and being consistent in that department.”
Hubbard will be working in a new offensive system this season, set to balance the Wylie East offense. The team ran the ball about 70 percent of the time last season and hopes to shrink that number a little bit more, even if they are still a primarily running offense.
Part of that look includes the wildcat formation, with running back Terrell Washington Jr. in the backfield at quarterback. The starter in 2021 will be tasked with creating big plays on the ground as well, not using his arm as much in 2022.
“We don’t want it to be 50/50, we want him to take the reins of it a little more,” Gold said. “If Terrell is in the backfield it’s going to be in our Wildcat offense and we hope it’ll only be about 10-15 plays a game. That being said, our philosophy is to keep going until they stop us. So if Terrell is getting big plays we’ll keep going to him.”
In their wildcat offense, the Raiders want their 3-star recruit to get as many touches as possible and help create explosive plays for the team. The fact that he played quarterback in the past is just added benefit.
“It certainly adds a whole other dimension, but it’s definitely going to be situational,” Gold said. “Teams are going to have to prepare for multiple looks from our offense and we’ll adjust to what they can stop and what they can’t stop.”
Behind Hubbard, Howard Fisher is a rising sophomore who slots in as backup for the Raiders and has shown a lot of promise in the Wylie East program. He’ll likely bounce between the JV and varsity team, showing some of the talents that Gold and the East coaching staff like out of the sophomore class.