Signing Day: A.L. Brown QB signs with ASU
Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 5, 2009
By Mike London
KANNAPOLIS ó Appalachian State quarterback Armanti Edwards has turned the world of FCS football upside down.
A.L. Brown’s Jamill Lott, one of two quarterbacks the Mountaineers signed Wednesday, dreams of backing up Edwards this fall and replacing him in 2010.
It’s a challenging dream for a guy who spent one season as a varsity starting quarterback, but people who bet against Lott are usually proven wrong.
Lott isn’t big at 6-foot-1, 180 pounds, but his lean, muscular frame can handle more weight, and he’s already much bigger than Edwards was when he reported to Boone as a willowy 160-pounder.
Lott, who has 4.5 speed, said his final choice came down to Appalachian State and Elon. ASU’s track record was the deciding factor.
“Coach (Jerry) Moore came down to Kannapolis a few weeks ago, talked to me about a scholarship and coming up to visit their campus,” Lott said. “I saw it’s a real nice campus and they’ve got my major ó architectural design. The other big thing is they have the same passion for winning I’ve got. Appalachian wins championships, and I’d like to get three or four rings.”
Appalachian made it clear it wanted Lott as a quarterback. That’s his position preference, although he’s talented enough to make an impact as a receiver, defensive back or kick returner if things don’t work out as a QB.
“They offered a full ride as a quarterback, and that’s the opportunity I wanted,” Lott said. “But I’ll do whatever helps the team.”
Lott helped the Wonders a lot as a senior. He was Brown’s Armanti, piling up 1,065 rushing yards, 1,939 passing yards and accounting for 36 TDs. Even with super running back Artrele Louis sidelined all year, Lott pushed his team to the 3AA state championship game.
Lott’s rushing numbers weren’t a surprise. The passing numbers were.
“Jamill just got better and better as the season went on as far as where to throw it and when to throw it,” A.L. Brown coach Ron Massey said. “He kept plays alive with his legs and his decision-making was excellent. He had one rocky quarter all year (at Anson County), and he bounced back quickly from that one.”
Lott quarterbacked the jayvees as a ninth-grader and joined the varsity for the playoff run. In the state playoffs, he threw a touchdown pass against Parkland.
With Jonathan Efird (now at Western Carolina) entrenched at quarterback, Lott spent his sophomore season as a defensive back.
Expectations were huge his junior year. He projected as a two-way starter, but he broke his collarbone in a scrimmage and missed seven games. He made his comeback as a receiver and turned his first touch into an 86-yard TD.
Lott’s versatility has been tremendous. He had a 163-yard receiving game as a junior and the Shrine Bowler’s highlight film also includes a punt return TD and two kickoff returns for scores.
“Because of the injury schools didn’t get to evaluate him until his senior year,” Massey said. “But his versatility gives him a leg up on most guys. He’s played three positions and he’s been real good at all of them.”
Lott made the tough decision to pass up his senior basketball season to lift weights and work on his speed. He’ll be running track for the Wonders.
Lott’s father James was a great player for Brown in the early 1980s and an All-ACC free safety at Clemson. He endorses his son’s decision.
“Jamill knows they can win big, and the school is a great fit,” James said. “It’s a place he can call his own. He can be a leader for them on the field and in the classroom.”