No one was happier than Charleston quarterback Ty Storey to be back in action this spring.
The junior-to-be is coming back from ACL surgery in November. He received a doctor’s release shortly before spring drills for full participation — except for contact.
"A month ago, he was 88 percent and I would say he is 90 to 95 percent by now," new Charleston head coach Greg Kendrick said. "He attacked his rehab like he attacks everything and he is way ahead of schedule. We haven’t rushed anything, but he is moving around well, making all the throws and he has had a good spring.
"He is still at the point where he just has to get over that mental hurdle that you are OK after something like that, but he is coming along."
Storey’s surgery was performed by the famed Dr. Frank Jobe of Birmingham, Ala. He has another trip to make to see Jobe — the inventor of Tommy John surgery — in June and expects to be ready for participation in several elite quarterback camps this summer. Storey is expected to attend camps at Arkansas, Oklahoma, Alabama, Georgia and Ole Miss.
Storey said he spent five days per week in rehab since the surgery, sometimes four or five hours per day.
"I am feeling good, I am feeling stronger every day," Storey said. "It has been frustrating when you want to go and do stuff but you have a schedule. It was great to get out to practice this spring. I was throwing off my back foot a little bit at first, but I am getting more and more comfortable.
"I can’t wait to get out there this fall."
Storey passed for 4,397 yards and 48 touchdowns with 11 interceptions last season as the Tigers finished 9-3. With nine starters back on both sides of the ball in the fall, Charleston should be the No. 1 team in 3A and Storey’s numbers should go up.
Various scouting services have Storey (6-foot-3, 220 pounds) rated as one of the top quarterback prospects in the nation for the 2015 class.
"I get a call on him every day," Kendrick said. "I think some schools wanted to see how he would bounce back from the surgery and he has done great. We have had schools in here looking at him and the interest level is starting to really pick up. He has the size, the arm and can make all the throws."
Storey said he planned to hold his recruiting open this year, make a commitment before his senior season, and then graduate early to be able to attend spring practice his first year.
"I wouldn’t put anyone above the others at this point," Storey said. "I just want to talk to as many people as I can at this point and see what my options are."
While Charleston had an explosive air attack out of the Spread thanks to Storey last year, the Tigers struggled to run the ball and have tried to work on it along with more physical defense.
"I felt like one of our biggest weakness last year was running the ball effectively with a lead late in the game, and we have worked on that," Kendrick said. "Now we are going throw the ball with Ty, but it will help a lot of we can pick up some yards on the ground."
The defense has been turned over to Brett Hobbs, who came from Van Buren. Hobbs is a 2002 Springdale graduate where the Bulldogs have a strong tradition on defense.
"We were weak on tackling last year, and we have improved tremendously this spring in that area," Kendrick said. "We aren’t going to have those missed tackles this fall."
High School Football
Head coach: Greg Kendrick
Last season: 9-3 (6-1 3A-4)
Sept. 6 Clarksville
Sept. 13 at Gentry
Sept. 20 at Ozark
Sept. 27 Danville
Oct. 4 at Paris
Oct. 11 Atkins
Oct. 18 at Lamar
Oct. 25 Lavaca
Nov. 1 at Cedarville
Nov. 8 Mansfield