It’s hard to blame Connor Ebeling for wanting to flip the calendar 9-10 months into the future.
Poised to break out big this past season as a junior quarterback for Elkhorn South High School – a powerful program in Nebraska – Ebeling suffered a concussion in the third game. He did return at the end of the season, but Ebeling played with the junior varsity in an attempt to get back up to speed.
“I tried to do whatever I could to get back as fast as possible,” he said. “I feel a lot better now, and I’m real excited for my senior season. I almost wish it would start right now.”
Even though he was limited by an injury as a junior, Ebeling showed he has a very bright future, even beyond the high school level.
In his first game with the Elkhorn South varsity, which went on to make the playoffs and finished with a 7-3 record under Head Coach Guy Rosenberg, Ebeling threw a 21-yard touchdown pass and ran 10 yards for another score. In the second game, the 6-foot-2, 180-pounder completed 6 of 10 passes for a 13.7 yard average.
Sidelined after sustaining the concussion early in the Storm’s third game, Ebeling made it back to the field later in the season and threw 6 TD passes in 3 games for the JV team while averaging 22 yards per completion.
“After I suffered a concussion, I was really disappointed,” he said. “I thought it would probably end my season. Luckily, toward the end of the season I was cleared to play and Coach (Rosenberg) wanted me to regain my rhythm by taking snaps with our JV team. It was a fun way to end the season, but I’m already looking forward to next season.”
‘Gun for an arm’
Rosenberg is also looking forward to having Ebeling on the field for the Elkhorn South varsity.
“Connor is an athletic and hard-working QB,” Rosenberg said. “He’s a student of the game with a high football IQ. Connor has a gun for an arm. When he throws the ball, he really spins it. You can hear it cut through the air. He also has big hands, which allow him to grip the ball in rain and cold and still maintain his velocity and accuracy. He’s getting a lot stronger in the weight room. His investment is paying off there.”
The Storm offense demands a lot from the quarterback, and Ebeling’s versatility is a huge bonus. “We have dual-threat QBs here at South and Connor does an excellent job in the run game, especially the Read Option and designed QB runs,” Rosenberg said. “He’s a long-strider with good top-end speed.”
NFA has been instrumental in getting Ebeling’s overall game up to speed. A member of the Blackshirts program, he also attended NFA’s first OpC4 camp help in Tampa, Fla., last January and traveled to Boston ancd Philadelphia with other Blackshirts last summer before wrapping up the road trip with a stop in Massillon, Ohio, for the Duel.
“That was a lifetime experience,” Ebeling said. “I enjoyed working out with other quarterbacks from all over the country. I developed some great friendships and still stay in touch with many of them today. I like hearing about their football seasons.”
Rosenberg said NFA has given Elkhorn South’s entire football program a boost.
“Our QB Coach, Jacob Rapp, has done a great job with Connor,” Rosenberg said. “But Connor has also really benefited mechanically from his work with NFA. We use the R4 System at South, and his extra off-season work with Coaches (Dub) Maddox and (Darin) Slack has helped Connor process quickly and throw the ball on time.”
Given his impressive skills and down-time as a junior due to injury, it’s not surprising that Ebeling is looking forward to the future.
“I’m very excited for the 2015 season to get under way,” he said. “I know we will have a good team, and I need to do my part in helping the team to a state championship. The past two years we made the playoffs, and next year we have the talent to win it. If I stay focused and do what I can to help my team win next year, my football future will take care of itself.”