Grant Newton was the running half of Kingfisher's two-quarterback system last year, but now as a senior, Newton is the lone starter. And he's ready to lead the team that many see as one of the favorites in Class 3A.
Do you have a different mindset this year, knowing that you're the quarterback and this is your team?
It's a little different. There are more expectations on me. There's a little more command in the huddle. I feel a little more control in the offense this year, knowing everything is coming through me. Other that, we're still running the same stuff and I'm still at the same comfort level than last year.
It has to feel nice having that big offensive line, with four returning starters. in front of you, doesn't it?
It's really nice. All five guys have played before and they all know what they're doing. All of them can move and run. They're big and athletic. It's comforting. Nobody else has that kind of line to work with like we do.
In addition, you have one of the best running backs in Class 3A in Landon Nault. Not a bad partner to have next to you in the backfield.
He's been starting for two years at running back. He's a strong, fast runner and he's been working so hard in the offseason. He's the hardest worker I know. He's gotten bigger and faster. We're expecting a lot of him, and he'll definitely be productive this year.
Have you added some bulk as well?
Me and Landon were in the weight room all summer with the other guys, and I feel like I've gotten stronger and faster. I've put on a little weight, so hopefully I'll be a little stronger, and I'm excited about that.
At 6-foot-3 and nearly 200 pounds, you run hard, and you were never afraid of contact. Does that mentality change now that you're alone at quarterback?
The last two years, I've played free safety, and I probably won't be doing that this year, so I think the coaches want me to stay away from contact more than I have in the past. But I still enjoy it. I'll probably have to be a little leery. But at the same time, that's my favorite part of football, so I can't shy away from it too much, or I'll get away from who I am. But I know I have to be careful.
By Scott Wright