Chubba Purdy is an inch taller than his brother. He is faster. Has a stronger arm. And his college recruiting has come sooner.
Say hello to the next Purdy to lead Gilbert Perry High School’s offense.
This is no easy task.
Brock Purdy, now at Iowa State, led Perry into uncharted territory the last two football seasons, when the Pumas beat Chandler Hamilton for the first time and reached the 6A state final for the first time.
Brock suddenly became the hottest quarterback on the college market after his high school career ended, being wooed by Alabama and Texas A&M and earning all of the biggest postseason honors in Arizona, including getting his picture plastered on the NASDAQ sign in Times Square in New York after winning the Ed Doherty Award.
Chubba, a 6-foot-3, 197-pound junior, was in an intense battle for the starting quarterback job this summer with senior D’Shayne James, who committed last season to Iowa State as a wide receiver.
James was hoping for one more turn at quarterback before starting college, but an injury last Thursday during practice in a non-contact play ended his season. James, on crutches with his left knee in a brace, watched Purdy warm up on Wednesday.
James will soon have surgery for torn lateral collateral and anterior cruciate ligaments.
“He has calmed down quite a bit,” James said of Chubba, who was the backup quarterback last season. “I think he could do better than Brock.”
To do better, Chubba would have to break Brock’s 6A state records he set last year. Brock Purdy threw for 4,405 yards and 57 touchdowns.
As a junior, after missing the first three games while recovering from mononucleosis, Brock passed for 3,333 yards and 42 touchdowns.
Oh, and he could run a little.
Brock Purdy last year ran for 1,017 yards, including 131 against Chandler in the 49-42 state-championship loss.
“He’ll be ready,” Perry coach Preston Jones said of Chubba.
Chubba Purdy takes over the Perry offense a year after his brother Brock broke 6A state records
Richard Obert, azcentral sports
Jones was hoping to use James at QB, as well.
Two years ago, when Brock was out the first three games, the 6-foot-3, 210-pound James was the quarterback. He showed off a cannon arm and athleticism, throwing five TD passes and running for four more scores.
James figured to be featured big in the offense again, if not at QB. Last year, he caught 45 passes for 1,086 yards and 15 TDs. He was a big, physical receiver who created mismatches and opened up the field for speedy slot receiver Colby Dickie, who returns after catching 61 passes for 1,039 yards and 12 TDs.
“We’ll find out,” Jones said on whether Chubba is ready to take over for his brother. “He feels absolutely horrible about (James’ injury). It sure would have been nice to have two of them.”
Jones said this will be a different team and calls Chubba a different quarterback than Brock.
“Chubba smiles, Brock never smiles,” Jones said. “Chubba is his own personality. He’s got more ability with his speed and his feet and his arm strength is quite a bit strong.
“Brock was something you don’t know how to explain it. Chubba is better in certain areas, and hopefully Chubba catches that part that Brock was born with. And we’ll see what happens.”
Chubba, 6-foot-3, 197 pounds, is ready to take over the reins.
“I’m ready and I feel like it’s my time now,” Chubba said. “Brock has moved on. We’ll see how it goes.”
Brock’s advice to Chubba?
“Just take leadership, take the team as one, and move forward one game at a time,” Chubba said.
Dickie can’t wait to see how this season plays out with another Purdy throwing passes.
“Having Brock throw to be me for two years, and then having his younger brother step up, it’s a pretty cool experience,” Dickie said.
Dickie calls James’ injury a huge blow to the team, but, “we’re going to stick together and fight through what he’s going through with him.”
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