Friday, Sept. 5, 2014 | 2 a.m.
To nominateThe Sun's high school football player of the week is designed for an under-the-radar player making an impact on Friday nights. To nominate someone, contact Ray Brewer at email@example.com. Winners are selected each Monday. They receive a $50 gift card to Sammy's Woodfired Pizza and a certificate of recognition.
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Las Vegas Sun sports reporters Ray Brewer and Case Keefer gloat over local high school football teams' big out of state weekend before getting sophomoric and starting some trouble with discussions on Bishop Gorman, Centennial, Desert Pines and more.
On his first varsity passing attempt last Friday, Desert Pines High sophomore quarterback Marckell Grayson was intercepted.
The intended receiver and a Desert Oasis defensive back collided, allowing another defender to grab the interception.
That was about the lone miscue of the evening for Grayson.
He accounted for 350 passing yards and four touchdowns to lead Desert Pines to an impressive victory, earning the Sun’s Player of the Week honors. He also had a 34-yard touchdown run.
The award isn’t necessarily designed for an established player or someone committed to a Division I school. Rather, it is for those talented athletes under the radar who deserve recognition for their efforts.
Grayson said that when he went to the sideline after the interception, he told coach Tico Rodriguez, “Coach, we’re going to be all right.”
Turns out, Desert Pines could be better than most expected, especially with the 6-foot-1, 155-pound Grayson leading the way. Desert Pines graduated its top four offensive players from 2013, when the Jaguars were within a touchdown of advancing to the state semifinals.
The Jaguars were expected to a have a rebuilding year, not contend for a state championship. They beat Desert Oasis, a higher-classification team, 48-0 in showing they’ll again be one of the state’s top teams.
“He’s one of those kids who is hardest on himself,” Rodriguez said. “He’s the type of kid who comes in and works hard and does everything you ask. He wants to be great at everything he does, from film sessions to the practice field.”
More about Grayson:
Who he models his game after: Peyton Manning and Cam Newton. “I like (Manning’s) leadership and his play-calling. Cam Newton is mobile and can run around.”
Favorite college teams: USC, Stanford, Oregon and Arizona. “All great offenses and fun to watch,” he said.
Favorite movie: The "Fast and the Furious" series.
In the classroom: Grayson is more than an athlete. He’s carries a near-4.0 grade point average in the radio magnet program at Desert Pines. And when football season ends, he’ll be on the Desert Pines varsity basketball team in the winter and the track team in the spring.