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Miller-Wing, Browning battling for starting role with Folsom Bulldogs

By: Matt Long, Telegraph sports editor
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FOLSOM, CA - With the graduation of quarterback Tanner Trosin, an outside observer might think that after a string of top quarterbacks at Folsom High the well just might be dry. Folsom High coach Kris Richardson doesn’t believe that and either do the two players fighting for the starting position, senior Taylor Miller-Wing and sophomore Jake Browning. One of the two will be Folsom’s starting quarterback this season and will follow a long list of outstanding field generals beginning with Cary Grossart, who was followed by David Graves, his brother Dano and then Trosin. Richardson said the position the Bulldogs are in this year is much the same position as they were in the fall of 2009 when the team wondered who would replace the older Graves. His brother, Dano, a junior, was battling Trosin, a sophomore, for the starting position. “Right now the two are in a dead heat and unless one of them distinguishes themselves in the preseason, we’ll enter the season with two great quarterbacks that give us different looks,” Richardson said. One thing Richardson does know is that for the first time in many years, Folsom will have a quarterback taller than 6 foot. Miller-Wing stands 6-foot, 3-inches, while Browning is an inch shorter. Miller-Wing backed up Trosin last year and also saw some time at wide receiver, but he’s focused on being only a quarterback this year. “I definitely feel very comfortable with the offense,” Miller-Wing said. “I’m comfortable under pressure and even though I’m big, I can run. I feel as though I have a big arm and I’m fairly accurate. The question is that I haven’t had a lot of playing time.” Miller-Wing said he learned a lot last year watching and talking with Trosin, who gave him a lot of advice. “He told me to always stay calm, no matter what happens, even if I throw an interception,” Miller-Wing said. Miller-Wing, who figured he’d be good for three interceptions with his first real playing time during the team’s Cal Camp, came out without throwing one and was pleased with his performance. Despite the loss of Trosin, the entire offensive line and top receiver J’Juan Muldrow, Miller-Wing is excited of the potential of this year’s offense. “I think we’re going to pick up right where we left off,” Miller-Wing said. “We don’t have any tall receivers, but they’re all fast, quick, good route runners with soft hands and that will help us. Bailey Laolagi and Harry Lipnosky will be fine at running back and our offense line answered any questions we had about them at the camp when they played great.” Browning, last year’s freshman quarterback who shared time with Matt Jimison, is looking forward to quarterbacking the Bulldogs. “My strengths are that I know the offense and I know the reads and I’ve been playing quarterback since I was 8,” Browning said. Both Browning and Miller-Wing have been studying at Coach Troy Taylor’s passing academy and working out with the team’s receivers since January. Browning helped lead last year’s freshman team to an undefeated record, though he admitted he wasn’t asked to do much because the team was so dominant. He was pleased, however, with his performance last year. The biggest adjustment for Browning figures to be getting used to the varsity level. “The speed of the game will be the biggest challenge,” Browning said. “That and getting back up after getting hit because the players are a lot bigger, stronger and faster at the varsity level.” Like Miller-Wing, Browning agrees that this year’s offense will be successful. “I think we’ll do very well,” Browning said. “We have the skill; it’s just a matter of how we execute.” No matter who gets the job, Richardson is comfortable with either quarterback. “Jake is more of a pocket passer, a gun-slinger, but he’s got the ability to run,” Richardson said. “He’s accurate and can pick apart a defense. Taylor is a big athlete and has a canon for an arm. He’s improved a lot from last year and gives us a run/pass threat because he can run. We’ve got two good quarterbacks.” ----- FOLSOM HIGH SCHOOL OPENER When: 7:15 p.m. Friday, Aug. 24 At: Woodcreek