Jason Driskel of Hagerty high school poses for a photo on the roof of the Orlando Sentinel during Varsity Media Day in Orlando. (Joshua C. Cruey / Orlando Sentinel / August 17, 2013)
Jason Driskel was stunned to hear the news out of Boca Raton today that FAU head coach Carl Pelini and defensive coordinator Pete Rekstis had stepped down with the school citing an admission of illegal drug use by both coaches.
“It’s all pretty shocking for me ... I haven’t talked to coach Wright yet. He’s probably pretty busy, as you could imagine,” Driskel said.
One thing that will work out well for Driskel is that his main recruiting contact, offensive coordinator Brian Wright, has been named the head coach in place of Pelini.
“As of right now I’m 100 percent committed to the university and that was my whole thing in the first place … I was going to commit to the school and not the coaching staff,” Driskel said. “I’m still comfortable there and I’ll just touch base with Coach Wright in the next couple of days and see what the plan is going forward.”
Driskel had already established a good relationship with Wright in the recruiting process.
“Yeah, Coach Pelini was more of a defensive guy anyway,” Driskel said. “Coach Wright was my main recruiter as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. That was really my main tie.”
Driskel and the Huskies have had a bit of an up-and-down season, but the squad is playing well and is right in the thick of creating a bit of drama in the Class 8A, District 3 standings.
Hagerty (3-5, 1-2 in 8A-3) has won three of its last four and needs a win at Orlando University to hope to be involved in a Monday district shootout. For that to happen, Timber Creek will need to defeat Oviedo, as well, and it would force a three-way tie for district runner-up.
“We’ve turned things around a little bit. We had a few disappointing losses earlier in the year and we feel like we beat ourselves and feel like we’re still a really good team,” Driskel said. “We’re just playing complete games now. I think that’s the biggest thing, we’re playing four quarters and we have a big game this week to throw a wrench into the district, so we’ll see how it goes.”
Driskel has passed for 881 yards and five touchdowns for what has been mostly a run-oriented offense under first-year Hagerty coach Phil Ziglar. Last week, in a huge win over Timber Creek, Driskel was 9-of-13 for 106 yards and a touchdown. In the past four games he has completed 21-of-43 passes for 325 yards, four touchdowns and one interception. He has also shown an ability to run with the football and has rushed for 172 yards on 56 carries in the Huskies eight games.
“We don’t really look at it as spoiling someone else’s opportunity as much as it is our opportunity to try to make the playoffs,” Driskel added. “We gotta win and we know that and we also know that someone has to lose for us to do that, so that’s just kind of where we are.”
Chris Hays is the Sentinel's recruiting coverage coordinator and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow us on Twitter at @Os_Recruiting and Facebook at Orlando Sentinel Recruiting, Instagram at os_recruiting and on Pinterest at Orlando Recruiting.