Evan Conley has bright future in Georgia
Houston Texans quarterback T.J. Yates set a pretty high bar at Pope High School, located just outside of Atlanta. Before heading off to the University of North Carolina to play college football and then making it to the NFL, Yates passed for 2,305 yards and 17 touchdowns during his senior year at Polk, earning Atlanta Metro First-Team honors.
The Greyhounds look to have another standout quarterback coming up through the system in Evan Conley. Playing for Pope’s seventh grade feeder team this season, Conley sparked a 6-3 record by throwing for 1,538 yards and 26 TDs while running for 297 yards.
“I thought we had a really good season, and we had a really tough draw in the first round of the playoffs,” Conley said. “My goal for next year is to keep playing well at the eighth grade level. The main goal is to win a playoff game because that’s something that’s been alluding me.”
Conley’s best game for the Greyhounds came in a 58-18 win. He threw 6 touchdown passes and spread the football around, finding four different receivers in the end zone.
Spread it around
Conley has been playing QB for seven years and likes using all of his offensive weapons. “I like playing quarterback just for the fact that I’m in control and I can kind of determine what happens,” said Conley, who connected with nine different receivers during the season. “As a receiver, you go to the line and you rely on the quarterback to get the ball to you. I like to be able to determine what happens.”
When his receivers are not open or he is under a heavy rush, Conley showed he can tuck the ball away and run. “I would say I’m pretty good at avoiding the pressure,” he said. “I like to run the ball. I’m working on being able to go to my second and third reads more often, get better at my check downs.”
Conley has been working with NFA to polish his game, going to camps the past three years. “I grew up a baseball player so I was kind of throwing the football like a baseball,” he said. “NFA helped me improve my throwing mechanics a lot and they’ve helped me come a long way.”
Before the season started at Pope, Conley was invited to NFA’s Duel of the Dozens competition in Ohio over the summer and he placed fourth in his age group. “I did better than I expected,” he said. “It was a lot of fun, and it definitely boosted my confidence a lot. It made me more trustworthy of my throws, and being more confident let me take more chances.”