OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Tyler Huntley doesn’t have the draft pedigree or experience of many of the other No. 2 quarterbacks in the NFL.
“Really that’s the No. 1 thing for a quarterback is the win-loss column,” Ravens offensive coordinator Greg Roman said when asked about Huntley. “That’s the stat that matters the most.”
In high school, Huntley led Hallandale H.S. in Hallandale Beach, Florida, to the first undefeated regular season in its 40-year history. During that season, Huntley outdueled Jackson’s Boynton Beach for a district title. It’s a game that Jackson has never forgotten.
In college, Huntley produced a 23-10 record as a starter at Utah, the third-most victories in school history. In his final season, he had the Utes ranked as high as No. 5 in the nation.
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Then, in Saturday’s preseason opener for Baltimore, Huntley scored the winning, seven-yard touchdown run in a 17-14 comeback victory over the New Orleans Saints. He completed 12-of-16 passes for 79 yards and finished as Baltimore’s leading rusher with 43 yards.
“He made plays with his arm, with his feet and with his head. I thought he did an excellent job,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. “He took a big step in that direction to be the backup quarterback.”
Not long after Huntley had established himself as the frontrunner for that backup job, he essentially won one of the team’s biggest training camp battles by a no contest. Trace McSorley was ruled out for the rest of the preseason with a back injury.
The Ravens opted to go young at backup quarterback after not re-signing Robert Griffin III, who struggled mightily in his only start last season. Baltimore is also limited with options in free agency because not too many quarterbacks have the skill set to play in its nontraditional offensive system.
Huntley is considered a great fit for the Ravens, and that has been reinforced over the summer. There have been times when Huntley’s ability has resembled that of Jackson with how he can escape pressure in the pocket and make plays with his legs.
“He’s a playmaker,” Ravens wide receiver Devin Duvernay said. “He can throw it. He can run it. He can do it all. He has a good deep ball. Overall, he’s electric.”
It’s been an interesting 18 months for Huntley. In 2019, he was named the Pac-12 first team quarterback over Justin Herbert, who became the No. 6 overall pick and the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year.
Huntley watched 13 other quarterbacks get selected that year in the draft before signing with the Ravens for a $5,000 signing bonus. He was lured to Baltimore because he knew Jackson and wide receiver Marquise Brown from their Florida high school days.
“That’s what really sold it,” Huntley said. “Being able to come where you know somebody, you feel better and comfortable to just play football.”
Huntley began his rookie season on the practice squad as the team’s fourth quarterback. It took injuries to Griffin and McSorley in the regular season to move Huntley onto the 53-man roster.
When Jackson got a concussion in the divisional playoff game in Buffalo, Huntley flashed promise by throwing for 60 yards and running for 32 yards in the fourth quarter of a 17-3 loss. He has carried that over into a solid showing in this year’s training camp and preseason.
Asked what he has seen from Huntley, Ravens wide receiver James Proche said, “The same thing you all saw — he is balling. A lot of the passes [that] I’m on the catching end of, you look back, ‘Who threw that? No. 2 Tyler Huntley.’”
Source : ESPN