February 24, 2020

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Diamond in the Rough: TJ Finley

TJ Finley is a 6’7 225lbs five star pro-style 1st team all-district and all-metro quarterback from Ponchatoula High School in Ponchatoula, Louisiana. Finley is already considered to be one of the best quarterbacks in his class. In his 2020 class Finley is currently ranked as the 9th best pro style quarterback in the nation and the 8th best overall player in the state of Louisiana. Finley finished his junior year with 2900 yards, 27 touchdowns, and a 67% completion percentage. Finley rated out scoring perfect 10/10s that involves his height, weight, hands, and footwork. Finley runs a 4.85 in the 40-yard dash, can bench 215, and squat 325. Finley has been committed to LSU since 5/29/18.

When did you become introduced to the game of football?

I was introduced to the game of football when I was five years old. My father was the one who introduced me to the game by playing in small organizational league for little kids, I was playing three different sports at the time; football, basketball, and soccer. Ever since my father put a football in my hands I have loved the game ever since.

What are somethings that football has taught you?

The main thing I would say is that football has taught me about perseverance. Perseverance is important to me because you don’t always win and you don’t always have the best game. Perseverance as a quarterback is important because you cant control the result of the game and helping your teammates by putting them before yourself.

How would you describe your style of play?

I am a very calm football player, I am not jittery or in a rush to get ball out of my hands because I am scanning the field. Although I try to get the ball out my hands as fast as possible I always try to make sure I have made all the proper reads.

Who are some of your biggest influences?

I would say my father because we talk a lot and he would tell me about the missed opportunities he had in life by not going to college and possibly the MLB because he used to be able to throw a 95-mile an hour fastball when he was 16. He always preached to me about not giving up and keep on pushing forward.

Which quarterback do you compare yourself to?

Aaron Rodgers is someone that I compare my style of play to. The reason why is because his arm talent is so superior and he can use his legs to make great plays. One of my friends would also compare my style of play to his.

Are there any other hobbies you enjoy besides football?

I play basketball, I workout, and I pray.

What made you decide to be a quarterback?

From a very young age I was always very advanced in my mindset. I was very quickly able to understand concepts, reading plays, and finding a way to put the football where it needs to be for the receivers. God has really made a way for me by giving me these gifts.

What are your goals for your senior year?

My main goal is to get Ponchatoula back to where it use to be team wise. I do not really have any individual goals because I am trying to make sure my teammates have the same opportunities that I have.