It was about halfway through Barbe's 47-14 win against Washington Marion last weekend when Trey Quinn (Lake Charles, La./Barbe) showed off the hands that are making him a known commodity in college football.
The junior wide receiver skied high into the air and brought down a bad overthrow with just one hand -- drawing high praise from the crowd. It was an outstanding catch for any level of football, let alone high school. That is, it was outstanding to everyone but Quinn.
"It was an average catch. I mean, everyone gets lucky every once in a while," he said.
That attitude might not be a surprise, given the summer Quinn just had. The junior is coming off of eye-catching trips to camps at LSU and Texas A&M, where he stood out as one of the most impressive players on the field while picking up scholarship offers from both schools. That was the focus all along for Quinn during his summer, as he put aside baseball to improve himself at football.
"I usually play summer baseball, but I decided (playing football) is what I really want," he said. "So I cut baseball out of the schedule, and I really just focused on my speed, getting off the press -- just working on being a wide receiver ... I just really focused on my skill set and just getting better."
To say it paid dividends is a bit of an understatement. Quinn ran circles around any and every defensive back he went against when he arrived in Baton Rouge for camp in July. He displayed the same sure hands that he's showing this football season, as well. The improvements were enough to earn him a scholarship offer from the Tigers when he left town, and he received similar treatment from Texas A&M just days later.
"That's a definite -- I'm for sure it was worth it," Quinn said. "Every day in the last summer, I've been getting at least one percent better. So at the end of a month you're about 32 percent better -- that's the saying. Every time you go out there you set a goal, and if you reach the goal you've gotten better. That's the way I looked at it every day."
The Aggies and Tigers are the only teams from which Quinn holds official offers to this point. But plenty of other schools are interested.
Quinn's father, Dave, said the mailbox is full of letters from schools ranging from Alabama to Oregon on a daily basis. The logistics of making far-away visits during the season makes it a challenge to go to those schools, however.
Quinn said he isn't overly concerned about the recruiting process at this point, though. He said he hopes to visit Baton Rouge for LSU's games against South Carolina and Alabama, but he hasn't spent much time thinking about anything but his junior season.
"If you were around the guys that I'm around at Barbe, our focus is that we've never won a state championship before," he said. "That really brings a fire and a passion to the team. I don't think it's fair to any of the other guys if I'm only thinking of myself and thinking about all these colleges. I have to keep my eyes on the prize."
This weekend that prize is a much-anticipated matchup with Class 2A heavyweight Evangel Christian. Barbe, a Class 5A power has not been able to get over the hump against Evangel in Quinn's time -- a fortune he hopes to change. In addition to the 2014 speedster, the Buccaneers also boast 2013 tight end and ESPN 150 member DeSean Smith -- one of the prized recruits in LSU's current class.
"We're a very explosive offense. Our offensive line either gives a really good run block or can give the quarterback time to pass the ball," Quinn said. "If you're going to double team me and DeSean the whole game, we also have three other people who can get open and catch the ball and make plays."