Q&A: Starting QB Woerner stopping to enjoy little things in final season

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Zed Woerner isn't just the 2016 LSC Academic Player of the Year, he's on the precipice of becoming the Tarleton leader in career touchdown passes. || Photo courtesy Dr. CHET MARTIN

By BRAD KEITH
TheFlashToday.com

STEPHENVILLE (September 14, 2017) — Zed Woerner, who is on the precipice of becoming Tarleton’s all-time leader in career touchdown passes, has been named the starting quarterback for the Texans in their Lone Star Conference opener at Angelo State Saturday.

Here is a look at Woerner’s career numbers in comparison to Tarleton career records:

Category       Tarleton Career Record (Holder)    Woerner     Difference
Completions  622 (Steve Kelly, 1999-01)           500           122
Attempts       1,136 (Kelly)                                 793           343
Pass Yards     8,203 (Kelly)                                5,977        2,226
Pass TDs       57 (Scott Grantham, 2007-09)     55              2

Woerner granted The Flash Today with a Q&A session following practice Tuesday, and the Marble Falls product provided answers as astute as you would expect from the 2016 Lone Star Conference Academic Player of The Year.

Q) How was it coming off the bench the first two games and helping the team get the win Saturday, and how does it feel to be named the starting quarterback for this Saturday at Angelo State?

A) To be real honest, we don’t have a true starter. Derek (Kiser) is great quarterback and we’re both probably going to end up playing quite a bit throughout the year. I don’t think there will ever truly be just one guy there. Now the other part of it, getting the win, that was awesome. First thing’s first – you have to thank the good Lord for allowing you to do it. Second thing is how the O-line and wideouts and running backs played, because they all played big, especially in the second half, and if we continue to build on that all year, we’ll be okay.

Q) It seems like you have had to compete to become the starter and ever since you did you’ve been competing to remain the starter or to get back in that role. What has that been like and how has it made you a better quarterback through the years?

A) You’re always going to have that competition, every quarterback here will. There will never be a year here where these guys won’t have competition, where they won’t have somebody coming in and pushing home,and that’s true everywhere in the country. If it’s not that way, you aren’t going to perform well.


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Q) You’re getting close to some significant passing milestones. Do the records mean anything to you?

A) To be real honest with you, I’ve never looked up my stats, not ever in my life, and when people try to tell me, I don’t listen. When I get done playing and I take my helmet off for the last time I’ll go ahead and sit down and print them all out and see what I did.

Q) You’re the reigning LSC Academic Player of the Year. What is it that makes the classroom side of your college career mean so much to you?

A) I’m trying to get into a doctorate field and I’ve got to have good grades to do that. That, and really, everything goes together. If you’re good in the classroom you perform well on the field because you’re locked in and focused. And that applies to anything. Whether you’re flipping burgers or trying to become a dotter, you want to perform at your highest level, and when you do, everything around you just flows better.

Q) You’ve got some impressive talent around you especially in guys like Del’Michael High, Jeff Thomas, those offensive skill guys. what’s it like working with them each day.

A) Those guys are freaks in a good way. They make each other look good and they make quarterbacks look good. There will never be a time any of us QBs makes a play alone. Having those guys makes the defense have to prepare for a whole lot more and keeps them from narrowing down on one guy because we have so many threats. It’s been a great pleasure to work with such talented threats.

Q) How much more confident are you standing in the pocket behind this revamped offensive line that’s about two inches taller and 30 pounds heavier per man than last year?

A) Those guys we brought in here are great guys. We have a lot more size than we did last year, and those guys were just so young. They thought hard, but they were injured. We did struggle there, but it wasn’t due to lack of trying, I know that. At that time, we were real thin, we didn’t have a whole lot of guys, and then all the injuries started taking their toll. But it’s been good this year. Over the last two weeks alone they’ve gotten better as they’ve gotten used to each other, and we have to do the same thing with them. We have to get used to the way they block and roll with them.

Q) It seemed like Adam Berryman asserted himself at running back, Del’Michael High at punt returner, and Daniel McCants on kickoff returns. Do you feel like some of the pieces are starting to come together now just in time for LSC play?

A) We’re always trying to put it all together. bu tit’s always going to be a puzzle that will never really be compete because there are always different pieces that change every week. The picture changes every week. We had, as we called it, a little bit of a statement game last week. We needed to make a statement, and by dodging that, several guys made some great plays and maybe they kind of did separate themselves, but we’ve got plenty more behind them who can do the exact same thing. Younever really know, it’s a week-by-week deal.

Q) What are your thoughts about taking on Angelo State and getting started with LSC play?

A) Angelo State is a great team. We’ve played them real close a couple times, and were fortunate enough to beat them pretty handily last year, but they’re a lot better than they were last year, a whole lot better. It’s gong to be a shootout, it’s going to be a great game and hopefully, we go in prepared and travel well and are able to take the win. But they’re a great team and it’s going to be a dog fight. We ‘re gong to have to have our ‘A’ game on, and they’re going to have to have it on, too.

Q) I get the impression you see the position of starting college quarterback as a great honor and that it doesn’t matter to you whether its Baker Mayfield at Oklahoma or Zed Woerner at Tarleton State. Is that true, is it an honor?

A) It’s a great honor. I try to keep that and uphold that and not mess that up. It ‘s a great deal, but there is a lot hat comes with it that you have to handle and manage, and our guys we’ve had here have always done a great job of that. If we can continue to handle it all well and keep that mentality then we’re in great shape.

Q) How does your approach to everything change this year, your senior year, when you know a lot of the things you’re doing aren’t just being done for the next time, but are being done for the last time?

A) It’s different, it is. It’s different. You know, early on  you don’t notice things as much, but as you get closer to the end you slow down and start enjoying the little things more. Instead of just walking out and doing this and that, you try to sit down and just enjoy them a little big more. I’ve got nine (games) left, and I started lifting weights when I was in the third grade and started playing football in the fourth grade. It’s weird, that’s all I’ve ever known. I don’t really know what to do other than just try to enjoy it all. I’m sure it will hit me a little later.


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