March 26, 2019

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Diamond in the Rough: Ben West

 

MVP of the Red Team for the Louisiana Gridiron Football All-Star bowl game was the Pineville Rebel’s quarterback, Ben West. Watching this guy in person at the game reminded me of Tim Tebow. The reason I make that comparison is because he is all for the team no matter what the situation is. Whether it is a deep ball down the sideline or a QB sneak or tucking it up field to gain some hard nose yards, West is up to the task. West went 12 for 23 with 1 interception but had 3 touchdowns to cap off the night.

Ben is a gritty guy; he’ll do whatever he needs to do to gain yards. His height is something he sees as a weakness and West knows there is not much changing that. To compensate for his height, he uses his feet. West is a “dual threat” quarterback. He is able to utilize his feet to get out of many situations. Being in a run pass option offense (RPO), you have to be able to make things happen in a short amount of time. A mobile quarterback is definitely desirable to college coaches for the sheer fact that he is an all-around athlete. West told me that he is no stranger to playing other positions besides quarterback. West also told me that his head coach, Dennis Dunn, can see West at the running back position. Coach Dunn thinks West will fit well at that position because he has an impressive football IQ. Having played quarterback in high school, it’s easy for him to observe defensive motions and find the holes.

 

Ben West is a smart kid; not only academically but on the field as well. On the field, he has a cool hand. He knows when he starts to panic only bad decisions will be the result. West sticks to what he knows and doesn’t make drastic decisions that would end up costing the team. West would rather be part of the rebuilding process as opposed to rewards process. The reason for his answer was that he wanted to leave a legacy. He believes building a foundation and setting the standard is more gratifying than reaping the rewards based on what others have built. Being on a platform is nothing unusual for West. He uses his platform to exhibit positive behaviors that kids in the stands can look up to. Humility is a word West would use to describe himself. After my interview with West, it’s easy to see that this guy is a player worth having on any team. He is smart both on and off the field; a quick learner and he is open to playing any position to help the team. In the coaching world, that’s an ideal player.