Four years ago, Jett Duffey was just another quarterback on a freshman team for a school that had just opened its doors. He had to watch the varsity team go 0-10 in its first season.
In 2015, the senior finished a thrilling season and career, capped off with an appearance in the state title game on Dec. 18 in Houston — the first for any Mansfield ISD school.
“Freshman year, he was this small kid, he threw and ran the ball well then he started his sophomore year and got the school’s first victory — 77-75 in triple overtime against Burleson Centennial,” Mansfield Lake Ridge coach Kirk Thor said. “I knew he’d be a special player.”
Accounting for 2,667 yards and 32 touchdowns in the regular season, Duffey is the 2015 Star-Telegram Super Team Offensive Player of the Year.
As a sophomore, he led Lake Ridge to the school’s first varsity victory — 77-75 in triple overtime.
The award is the fourth in the past week for the dual-threat quarterback, who signed a nonbinding financial aid agreement with Texas Tech on Dec. 9 that would allow him to enroll in January.
Duffey won the Landry Award as the best player in North Texas on Dec. 14, was named The Associated Press Class 5A Offensive Player of the Year on Dec. 16, and was the Most Valuable Player for District 14-5A.
“Means a lot, great blessing, shows a lot of work, not only from myself but from the team. I wouldn’t be able to win these awards without the team, so it just shows how much they’ve given me,” Duffey said.
It’s great for Texas Tech, they are getting someone that they don’t have to worry about. It’s a tremendous honor and he’s a great football player.
Lake Ridge coach Kirk Thor on Jett Duffey
Duffey also had a terrific postseason run, accounting for another 1,738 yards and 17 total touchdowns in six games. He finished his senior year with 4,405 yards of total offense and 49 total touchdowns, running and passing.
“I’m so proud of him, not just in football, but academically and his character,” Thor said. “It’s great for Texas Tech, they are getting someone that they don’t have to worry about. It’s a tremendous honor and he’s a great football player.”
From his freshman year when the varsity went winless, to his sophomore year as district Newcomer of the Year for a two-win team, Duffey knew the program was on the rise. He was first team all-district last season as a junior.
Since Day One when I met coach Thor and what he preached ... I already knew this program would eventually take off.
“I definitely could’ve imagined it. Since Day One when I met coach Thor and what he preached to today, everyone was working hard every day and in the summer, so I already knew this program would eventually take off,” he said.
Academics played a big part in his development as a player, Thor said, and Duffey thanks his head coach from the first time they both stepped onto a football field together.
“Coach Thor has taught me a lot, started just as a little, young freshman and then a sophomore and every day he’s helped me, every day he’s taught me the things, he’s always kept me humbled, kept in my mind it’s more about football,” Duffey said. “He preaches character, which is something I’ve taken from him.”