Joel Poe might not possess all the tools that college recruiters are looking for in a quarterback, but you'd be hard pressed to find anyone more supportive of him than Mark Freeman.
Following Spanish Fort's convincing 45-14 victory over McAdory in the Class 5A state championship game, Freeman wasn't short on praising Poe at Jordan-Hare Stadium Thursday night.
Poe entered with over 3,000 yards passing, but that hasn't exactly caught the eye of many recruiters thus far.
"A team that runs a zone-read spread (offense), they're missing out," said Freeman, head coach of Spanish Fort. "He's 6-foot, 200 pounds and has a 30 on the ACT -- he's just one of the finest young men that I've ever met. I love going to practice every day so I can spend time with Joel Poe."
The stage was set for Poe to try and impress potential college recruiters one last time.
The senior went 17-of-24 for 177 with three touchdowns to earn MVP honors in his final prep outing. Poe also scored a rushing TD -- a 10-yarder -- in guiding the Toros (14-1) to the school's second state championship in three seasons.
"I've had a few people come talk to me," said Poe, who had touchdown strikes of 18, 25 and 21 yards. "Nothing really serious yet, so hopefully something will come up."
Freeman's encouraging words were kind of shocking to the quarterback.
"It was the first time I've heard him really praise me like that," said Poe, a two-year starter in Freeman's offensive scheme. "I guess he didn't want me to get my head to big during the season. It's awesome to have some feel that I did that great of a job."
The Toros struggle out the gate before finally finding rhythm in the second quarter. Poe had a touchdown toss, and Edward Moore added a 1-yard plunge midway through the half to forge a double-digit edge prior to breaking it wide open a quarter later.
"In the second half, we got to rolling pretty good, and we were able to execute some stuff," said Freeman, whose team handed McAdory (14-1) its first loss of the season.