By Miguel A. Melendez, Staff Writer
The absence of top football recruits at Muir High School has been a blessing in disguise for Mustangs coach Ken Howard.
Over the summer, Kevon Seymour and Tairen Owens have attended several camps, keeping them busy in the offseason while also taking them away from voluntary workouts, passing league games and summer camp.
Howard, in his seventh season at the helm, said Seymour and Owens’ absences have given others an opportunity to step into their roles and show their value. They’ll continue having that chance when fall camp opens today at 3:30 p.m., with pads coming Wednesday.
“Not having them has not made things difficult at all,” Howard said. “We pretty much know what those kids have to offer. What it did is help us find kids we didn’t know about and could step into their roles.
“There’s a few who are looking to make a name for themselves, and we’ll see how they do once we open camp.”
Seymour, a four-star recruit with multiple offers from schools like Oklahoma and Florida, will be absent Monday because he’ll be attending a recruiting camp. Owens, a speedy tailback, has committed to Washington.
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In their absences, Tyquan Glass has distinguished himself.
“He’s been awesome,” Howard said. “He’s the man right now. We’re looking for the same things from Tyquan that the other two can give us. He executes well, he’s fast, aggressive. He’s going to be one of our playmakers.”
Glass is versatile, just like Seymour. He will see extensive time at wideout, defensive back and safety.
Look for a friendly quarterback competition to brew over the next week, as two junior varsity call-ups will get their chances to earn the starting spot.
“We found over the summer and passing (league) that we have two good quarterbacks that can get the job done,” Howard said.
Howard compared Josh Washington, a junior who stands 6-foot-4, to Jeffrey Davis, who graduated last year. Washington isn’t as fast or elusive, but he brings other qualities.
“He’s got a great arm, great mechanics, gets the ball up and out of his hands,” Howard said.
Mark Samuels, also a junior, is the other quarterback, and also a pitcher on the baseball team.
Over the summer, Howard said that Seymour, about as versatile as they come, wouldn’t see time at quarterback. He’s since said Seymour could see action under center in special packages.
Howard, however, vows to let the competition play itself out.
“We’re going to see how these two play out first,” he said, referring to Washington and Samuels. “If need be, and we have to throw, we know Kevon can get it done for us.”
Linemen not a concern
Muir’s always known for having a stout group of linemen. Last year’s group was an All-Star lineup that included four-year starter and three-time Star-News All-Area lineman Danny Huerta, three-year letterman Shawn Wilcox and Cameron Palmer.
The unit anchored a junior-heavy team two years ago, and their leadership was exemplary. After Muir lost to Charter Oak in the Southeast Division opener two years ago, Huerta, Wilcox and Palmer were in the weight room the following weekend, fueled by their loss and vowing to work together in the weight room throughout the offseason.
There’s been no kind of commitment yet from this year’s line, but Howard said he’s not concerned.
“I won’t say it hurts us,” he said, “but I’d like to see more of it. The problem is we have kids who worked in the community over the summer or went on vacation and got back late, so there hasn’t been any linemen competition.”
Howard said this year’s junior corps of linemen hasn’t built that bond yet, but stressed that the bond will come soon enough.
“We’re trying to get them together and get this thing going,” Howard said. “We always pull it out for some reason or another. I’m not going to put my linemen down, because I know we’re going to get it done.”