Like Coach, Like Player: Queen Creek’s Larsen Emulates OC Germaine
11 months ago Andrew Luberda 0
Queen Creek senior quarterback Devin Larsen was born in 2000, three years after the 1997 Rose Bowl.
Despite his non-existence in this world at the time, Larsen – thanks to YouTube – is familiar with Bulldogs’ offensive coordinator Joe Germaine’s heroics that propelled Ohio State to a come-from-behind victory against the hometown Sun Devils.
During Larsen’s own game-winning drive last week against Mountain Pointe, the reigning CountyLinePreps.com Offensive Player of the Year displayed similar traits to those of his coach 21 years prior – the demeanor, poise, and most importantly, the results.
“He’s been in those types of moments too,” Larsen said. “In the Rose Bowl with Ohio State against ASU, he came into the game and led his team [on a drive] to win the Rose Bowl.
“Watching that and just his demeanor on the sidelines,” Larsen continued. “He’s calm and relaxed there too. It helps me knowing that he’s going to set up plays that I know very well and that our team knows very well, so we can pick up some good yards and move down the field. Having him as a coach helps a lot. I try bring (some of what he did) to my game.”
Larsen, who holds an offer from Idaho, still may be arguably the most under-recruited football prospect in the state. Several recruiting experts across the state believe time remains for college recruiters to see the improvements Larsen has made – most notably his footwork and speed – and extend an offer.
“Devin is a very talented player,” Germaine said. “His quarterback play is far and beyond what mine was at his age. The things that we can try to coach with Devin – the accuracy, the footwork, the arm slots, and his drops – he does really well.
Clearly, Larsen possess all the physical attributes needed to be a successful quarterback, and he has the mental skills as well.
“I think what sets him apart, like we saw on that game-winning drive, are the things that are sometimes uncoachable,” Germaine explained. “Sometimes (a player) has it or he doesn’t. It’s that poise, that mental toughness, and that courage to stand back there and not look at the rush, have his eyes downfield and make throws, or scramble and make plays and understand when to get out of bounds or not to, situationally. We talk about it, but he already had that, and he does it naturally. He can make a coach look good sometimes.”
According to Germaine, the 6-foot-5, 215-pound Larsen possesses the most important skills to be successful.
“If I were to make a checklist of the priorities to be a successful quarterback, the first thing that I would write, which would be paramount, is accuracy,” said Germaine. “The second thing would be a good decision maker, and that’s everything above the neck. It has nothing to do with physical side of playing quarterback. Devin checks the boxes on both of those things.”
Germaine added that the Bulldogs’ offense is complex and the verbiage on the play calls can reach 13 words or more. Larsen has handled it all.
“He can spit it out quick and it’s great to see him be able to tell everybody what to do on every play,” Germaine said. “I think all of those are things that he really excels at.”
Larsen still sees in Germaine on the sidelines what some of us saw from the 1997 Rose Bowl MVP and 1998 Big Ten Conference MVP on the field.
“He loves the game,” Larsen said. “He still has a strong desire to win and he brings that to our team.”
So does Larsen.
It too can be seen on YouTube.