McEachern a natural at QB for Indians

Posted Monday, Oct. 21, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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Hunter McEachern said playing quarterback feels very natural.

The Keller senior has been the starting quarterback for two years, and the name and position may sound familiar to football fans.

McEachern’s uncle, Randy, was the Texas Longhorns quarterback playing with Earl Campbell, and his father played at UTEP. Another family member has played for TCU.

“As I started playing, I was always at quarterback,” McEachern said. “It seems to come naturally.”

Although it seems natural for McEachern to be under center, Keller head coach Carl Stralow said he’s had to learn quite a bit over the course of the last two years, with much of it coming the hard way.

“He hadn’t had a whole lot of reps when we met him,” Stralow said of seeing McEachern last year in the coach’s first year at Keller. “He didn’t have a lot of experience.

“There’s a big learning curve,” Stralow said. “He learned through the school of hard knocks last year, and it didn’t bother his confidence.”

Confidence has been building for McEachern, as he has passed for 1,109 yards, an almost 60 percent completion rate, and nine touchdowns, with five interceptions. He threw for 250 yards and three scores in the win over Haltom last week.

McEachern said he has set goals this season of passing for 1,500-2,000 yards, a 60-70 percent completion rate and between 15-20 TDs.

Hitting those stats would be special, considering the Indians have been primarily built as a running team.

“We’ve been more run-oriented,” McEachern said, “but as games go along, we may be doing more passing.”

Keller may have the quarterback running the ball more, but McEachern said it’s not necessarily by design. “I’ll scramble or read the defense,” McEachern said.

“I don’t mind,” he said of the run-heavy offense. “It’s just how the offense is.”

McEachern considers himself a pocket passer with a strong arm, able to spread the ball around and read defenses.

Now in his second year under Stralow, McEachern said he and the team have shown improvement over last year. “The workouts are totally different and we’re flipping the program around,” McEachern said.

Leaving the Keller program is top shape is also a top concern for McEachern.

“I’ve got a lot of hope for this program,” McEachern said. “We haven’t been to the playoffs since ‘05, when we’ve had a winning season. We (seniors) want a change of the program. We aren’t going to be kicked around. We’ve been more physical this year and got the program back on its feet.”

Thinking on their feet is critical for an offense which keeps an up-tempo, no-huddle approach, and McEachern said having to think about a play without much time between plays has been almost easier for him to manage.

“Coach (Wes) Cope helped me with the hurry-up offense,” McEachern said. “We’ve had such a massive O-line, we could gut people with the run. The no-huddle, though, is getting a lot easier for me,” he said.

“In the huddle, I think about this-and-that,” McEachern explained. “I just get going with the no-huddle and when we hurry up, we’ve done well. Maybe it’s because I’m not thinking as much. I can just go.”

Leadership as a captain has been a big role for McEachern, as well.

“I’m really pleased with how he’s improved and matured and developed as a leader,” Stralow added. “He’s a reason for our success. I’m real proud of him. He’s done a good job and we wouldn’t win without him.”

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