Joey Echigoshima thrives on versatility


Joey Echigoshima thrives on versatility

Joey Echigoshima resides in Bellevue, Wash., which is just a long pass away from Seattle and the NFL’s rising power Seahawks. When the game is on, Echigoshima likes to concentrate on one key Seattle player.

“Russell Wilson,” he said of the Seahawks’ quarterback. “He’s a dual threat guy. He can run the ball and he’s really good out of the option. And he can also sit in the pocket and throw the ball.”

Echigoshima tried to pattern his own game after Wilson this season, and the numbers say the seventh grader did a tremendous job. Quarterbacking the Junior Wolverines J.V. Gold team, which feeds into the Bellevue High School program, Echigoshima led his team to a 9-1 record and appearance in the league championship game.

“It was a really good season,” he said. “We play a Wing-T offense, so I try to be a dual threat type of quarterback. As the season went on, I think I got a lot better at throwing on the run.”

Dual threat

Showing his dual capabilities, Echigoshima passed for 14 touchdowns and ran for 10 more. “I look down the field and try to throw the ball, either out of the pocket or on the run,” he said. “And if I have to run, I do. I like running the football and I try to use my speed.”

While he is athletic enough to play other positions like wide receiver, Echigoshima has been playing QB since he was 9 years old and it’s his position of choice. “Playing quarterback, I just like being able to lead a team,” he said. “I like winning games and hopefully I can lead the team to the playoffs.”

Echigoshima started going to NFA camps last year, and he also competed in the showcase Duel of the Dozens in Massillon, Ohio, over the summer. “With NFA, they’ve helped a lot with my throwing. I used to throw the ball in the dirt a lot and they helped me keep my shoulder up. I was throwing at my receivers’ feet; I was always kind of short. NFA really helped me learn how to throw on the run, through drills and throwing back and forth while running. That was something I never really did until I got to their camp.”

A three-sport athlete, Echigoshima is a standout guard/forward in basketball and an outfielder in baseball. When it comes down to his sport of choice, football wins out. “I just like the pace of the game of football,” he said. “And I like the contact.”


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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