COLUMBIA — At age 3, most children are learning the alphabet. Logan Twehous was formulating outcomes to basketball games.
With one team trailing by three and a final possession in hand, Twehous turned from the TV and informed his father, Nolan Twehous, that the leading team should foul.
“I go, 'Why would you foul?'” Nolan Twehous said. “He goes, 'That way they can't shoot a three and tie me.' Stuff like that doesn't make sense to most people, but that's the way he thinks. He's always looking for a way to win."
That characteristic should come in handy. The 15-year-old sophomore is set to take over behind center this season as the latest in a fine line of Rock Bridge quarterbacks.
“Typically you might cringe with the schedule we play, having a sophomore guy,” Bruins coach A.J. Ofodile said. “Especially in our offense, where the quarterback is the focal point. There's so many things that he's responsible for cerebrally and physically. But he's up to the challenge.”
The past two quarterbacks to start for the Bruins as sophomores went on to commit to FBS universities: Chase Patton to Missouri and Logan Gray to the University of Georgia.
Odofile, entering his 10th season as head coach for Rock Bridge, is confident Logan Twehous can meet the expectations set by his predecessors, saying he matches up physically and has an advantage because of his experience with shotgun offenses. He cites a game from last year that shows that Logan Twehous’ outstanding maturity was no childhood fluke.
In a matchup against Jefferson City, Logan Twehous shook off a first-play interception, returned for a Jays touchdown, and went on to throw for more than 400 yards.
“That speaks volumes to the kind of kid he is, his patience, his confidence,” Ofodile said. “He went out and put on a show after throwing that pick-six. You don't see that very often in freshmen.”
As for Logan Twehous himself, he also believes he can carry on the success of the Bruins quarterback lineage.
“I'm aware of the quarterbacks that have started before me as sophomores, and I hope I can be the next one," he said. “I'm confident I can be, too.”
That’s not to say he isn’t feeling nervous.
Thursday "morning when I woke up, it started to kick in,” he said. “Wow.”
The butterflies start to settle a little, however, when a quarterback has a target like all-state senior running back and wide receiver Kenny James.
“It takes a lot of (the pressure) off,” Logan Twehous said. “It's not just him. We have a bunch of good, young receivers this year that are very capable of making some big plays throughout the season."
James and Logan Twehous spend a lot of time together off the turf. And on it? James is the latest to praise an abnormal level of maturity in a brace-faced kid too young to even get a driver’s license.
“When he's practicing, he practices hard. His throws are on point. He has mistakes here and there, everybody does, but his reads are great. He’s great when he runs. He tucks it, switches hands and all that. You don't really see that too much out of some of the sophomore quarterbacks,” James said.
Even as a freshman, Logan Twehous was trying to play above his age.
“He was training under (graduated quarterback) Bo Bell, but his intentions last year were to start last year,” Nolan Twehous said.
The secret to the teenager's adult-like focus? Logan Twehous credits practicing with his father, as well as having multi-sport experience.
“When I was younger, with my dad, going out hitting BP in baseball or just throwing the ball around, the final one's always for the game,” he said. “Being in so many of those pressure situations throughout baseball and football, I've just gotten used to it.”
But Nolan Twehous says it all came from within.
“He's always been mature for his age,” he said. “I tell everybody he could move out of the house, and I wouldn't be worried about him. And that's a true statement.”
Supervising editor is Grant Hodder.