Jack Curtis making the grade at QB


Jack Curtis has his priorities in order.
In addition to being a talented young quarterback, the sixth grader has only had one B since he’s been attending school. Everything else has been an A.
“School is very important,” Curtis said. “My dad (Scott) always says, ‘You can’t play football if you don’t have the grades.’ That’s motivated me to keep my grades up.”
Curtis is making the grade, in the classroom and on the field.
Last season, he played Junior Pee Wee football in North Carolina and sparked the South Charlotte Patriots to a 6-4 record following an 0-3 start. Curtis connected on 55 percent of his passes while throwing for 1,872 yards and 15 touchdowns. He was only intercepted 4 times.
“I was happy with the way I was able to throw a lot of accurate passes and happy with how my receivers were catching the ball,” Curtis said. “They made a lot of great plays and bailed me out a lot. I feel like we had a well-rounded team.”
Showing his dual ability, Curtis also rushed for 730 yards and 4 TDs. At age 10 a year ago, he was playing with and against players that were typically 11.
“I felt like I was accomplishing more, and that is the way I wanted to feel,” he said.

Second at Duel

The accomplishments continued this summer when Curtis was invited to the Duel. He finished second among incoming sixth graders.
“Going into the Duel, my goal was to compete and make it to the Top 10, maybe the finals,” Curtis said. “I wasn’t really thinking about making it into the Top 2. I just wanted to be in the Top 10, so finishing where I did gives me a lot of confidence going into this season.”
Curtis is back with the South Charlotte Patriots this year and playing at the Pee Wee level. “We’re hoping to make it to the Optimist Bowl, which is like our league’s conference championship,” he said.
While he is coming off a highly successful 2014 season, Curtis has been working to improve his skills.
“After last season, I felt like I had to work on my timing,” Curtis said. “I was hitching up a little too late on my throws and I wasn’t in my rhythm, getting 1, 2 3 and out. I also want to get better at making quicker reads and if I can’t see anything, be faster at getting out of the pocket and extending plays.”
Attending NFA camps the last two years and the showcase Duel this summer has helped Curtis deverlop as a quarterback.
“They’ve really helped me get my timing down,” Curtis said . “I felt like the NFA coaches have really understood me and that helped me as a quarterback. It’s been really good.”

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Scot Gregor is an award-winning sportswriter for the Chicago Daily Herald. In addition to writing about Big 10 and Notre Dame football, Gregor has also covered the White Sox, Bears, Blackhawks, Bulls and college basketball. He grew up in Pittsburgh and watched the Steelers rise to prominence in the 1970s. Gregor has a B.S. degree in Journalism from Ohio University