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Wynn-ing template at quarterback

08/27/2013, 5:03pm PDT
By John Maffei

Connor Wynn hopes to follow in footsteps of brother Jordan and lead team to section title.

— They went to different schools and have different physical attributes and drastically different throwing motions. But Connor Wynn is hoping for the same result as big brother Jordan.

In 2008, Jordan Wynn threw for 2,579 yards and 19 touchdowns in leading Oceanside High to a state bowl championship. The next year, he passed for 3,366 yards and 32 TDs and led the Pirates to another San Diego Section title.

Jordan went on to start for Utah, leading the Utes to a 2009 Poinsettia Bowl win over Cal in which he was named the game’s MVP.

Connor Wynn, who transferred to Mission Hills after his freshman year at Oceanside, has had similar statistical success.

Now a senior, Connor has thrown for 4,005 yards and 30 TDs in two seasons as a starter, completing 63.2 percent of his 482 throws.

“But Jordan has what I want — a CIF championship,” Connor Wynn said.

Mission Hills lost 21-14 to Eastlake in the section Division I title game last season.

A series of shoulder injuries cut Jordan’s career short. He’s now a graduate assistant coach at Hawaii, working with the quarterbacks. But the setback just might help Connor achieve his goal.

After Jordan suffered a third — and career-ending — shoulder injury last season, he came home and got to see his brother play five games.

“Those two guys — Jordan and Connor — are as close as brothers can be,” Mission Hills coach Chris Hauser said. “Jordan is a student of the game, a good college player and now a college coach.

“Connor wants to learn. The two watch tape at home. They watch our games, they watch Utah games.

“There is a strong bond there. Connor has really taken advantage of his brother’s knowledge.”

Maybe because of maturity, understanding of the Mission Hills system and Hauser’s demands, or maybe because of tutoring by his brother, Connor had a great summer.

“I’m ready to get the bad taste of the Eastlake loss out of my mouth,” Connor said. “It was my fumble that hurt us, and we weren’t able to regroup. I’m the leader of this team — I know that. I understand the challenges and distractions of the quarterback position.

“Maybe because of experience or watching my brother, I understand the focus, the film work, the dedication it takes to play this position. I can’t take a day off. Heck, I can’t even take a play off. The quarterback at this school can’t be lazy. I understand the quarterback gets the glory when things go well. I understand if we fail as a team, it falls on me.

“The coaches have asked a lot of me. I love it here; I love playing a high-pressure position. I’m ready for the challenge this season.”

Part of that challenge, Hauser and Wynn explained, is running the offense, calling plays. The Mission Hills offense has a little bit of everything — spread, I-formation and pistol.

“And I love it,” Wynn said.

Several times a game, Hauser will give Wynn three plays, and it’s the quarterback’s responsibility to call the right one. Plus, Wynn has the option to change a play at the line of scrimmage.

“Connor is a leader in the huddle,” said Mission Hills receiver Brad Sochowski, who caught 65 passes last season. “He’s experienced enough to know what play to call. He sees what the coaches see. Plus, he throws the ball with velocity and touch.”

He doesn’t, however, throw with a classic quarterback motion. He’s more Philip Rivers than Tom Brady.

“No question our throwing motions are different,” Jordan Wynn said. “I’m more over the top; his is a little more three-quarters.

“The end result, though, is that Connor delivers the ball with accuracy and velocity. You can’t teach a quarterback accuracy. That’s something you’re blessed with.

“He’s also blessed with speed. That’s the big difference between us. He brings a dynamic to the game with his legs. I was a passer.”

As for the funky throwing motion, Jordan told Connor to stick with it, and if college coaches don’t like it, they’ll change it at the next level.

Connor has the size (6-foot-2, 195 pounds) and production to draw interest from Pac-12 Conference schools. So far, the biggest interest has come from Mountain West programs Utah State, San Jose State and UNLV.

“College recruiters have mentioned my motion,” Connor said. “Right now, though, it is what it is. I honestly don’t know how I got this delivery. It’s the way I’ve thrown since I was a kid.

“I’ve worked with my brother, but we haven’t changed things dramatically. The best advice he gave me was: Just keep producing.”

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