Thrown into the fire, fast. That’s how Bowie High School quarterback Jordan Green described the situation three years ago, when he was inserted into the varsity lineup toward the end of the 2011 season.
Then just a freshman, without varsity experience, Green was getting snaps under center on a team going nowhere, he said.
“It was very nerve wracking. It caught me off guard. I didn’t know what was happening,” Green said.
But things have changed for the 6-foot rising senior; his coaches, his teammates — and Green himself.
“I’m a lot more mature than I was back then. I understand the game a lot more, I know it’s going to move a lot slower for me,” Green said. “... Now it’s just calm. I can see everything thrown in front of me.”
Green’s game has improved in a number of areas; decision making, accuracy and play calling. But most of all, it’s his leadership that has progressed, coach Jae Jackson said.
“Being a sophomore starter with a team of a lot of seniors, he was put in that position. A lot of those guys weren’t letting him control the offense,” Jackson said. “... This year he knows that it’s a whole new receiving corps and he’s going to have to take on a leadership role.”
The Bulldogs, who graduated 32 seniors, may need every bit of that leadership from their senior quarterback.
Green, an All-Gazette honorable mention selection, recorded 2,018 passing yards and threw 18 touchdowns for Bowie, which went 6-4 last season. But the team lost top running back Malcolm Sesay and lead receiver Mohamed Roberts, who combined for 15 touchdowns and both made second team All-Gazette. Bowie also graduated nearly all of its starters on defense.
Though Green’s supporting cast is mostly gone, he’ll be protected by an offensive line that returns four of five starters, including Eugene Lindsay, a first-team All-Gazette selection.
“He already told us, he wants to be the best quarterback in the state. ... He’s become a better player and a better leader overall,” said Lindsay, a 6-6, 361-pound right tackle. “... I was just at camp with him and he’s putting passes where I’ve never seen him put it.”
Bowie is bringing up several players from its undefeated (9-0) junior varsity team.
“I just try to tell them, stay calm, stay composed, every play is different. Just focus on the next play,” Green said.
The Bulldogs ended last season on a four-game winning streak; if not for an early-season forfeit to Charles H. Flowers — caused by a fight the week prior — they could have qualified for the postseason.
“We’re capable of going to the playoffs. I’m not saying it’s going to be easy but we can go as far as we want as long as we put the work in,” Lindsay said.