Bryan Cottingim, QB, Fort Worth Young Men’s Leadership Academy
His night: Cottingim accounted for all five of Fort Worth YMLA’s touchdowns in the team’s first-ever varsity victory last Friday. Cottingim rushed for 199 yards and a score while throwing for four touchdowns on 145 yards passing as the Wildcats downed Fort Worth North Side 34-0.
His story: Cottingim, a junior, is in his first year of playing quarterback. He was a running back as a freshman and played primarily as a linebacker and safety last season as a sophomore. Over the spring, he won the job under center. Through nine games this season, he has thrown for 553 yards and five TDs while adding 683 yards rushing with a touchdown.
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His goals: Cottingim would love any opportunity to play football at the college level.
His most memorable moment: Cottingim said the game against North Side stands out as the highlight of his career thus far.
His favorite player: Cottingim admires Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson. “I love the way he plays,” Cottingim said. “He’s very mobile and I love how when he’s in the pocket, he runs his team. I look up to him.”
Cottingim said: “Starting out, [the transition to quarterback] was very rough. It was harder than I actually thought it would be. It made me have more respect for quarterbacks. I’ve been watching film and YouTube videos on how people do this. I’ve watched a lot of football games to see how the quarterbacks work.
“I hope to make it to the next level, playing college ball. Whoever gives me the chance to play for them, I want them to know I’m grateful for the opportunity they give me and I won’t let them down. I will give all I have to help the team, even if that means switching positions or waking up at 2 in the morning to watch film.”
Coach Joseph Heath said: “Bryan is a tough kid. He’s taken beatings this year. He’s hung in there and never complained once about it. His leadership has been more toughness than anything else. He’s probably been banged around and limped around in parts of five or six different games this year. He’s taking shots every game and getting hit constantly, and every time he pops right back up. I think the kids look at that and it helps them keep going as well, because they know they need to do the same.
“He’s done a lot of research. He’s done a great job with what we’ve him asked him to do. We’ve been forced into situations in games where he’s had to throw the ball more than we wanted to. He’s a smart kid; he loves football and watches football, which is something a ton of kids don’t do these days. He’s picked it up real quickly for someone who’s only been playing the position for about six months.”
Notable: Cottingim also plays soccer and runs track.