EDITOR’S NOTE » This is one in a series of previews of Utah’s high school football programs. They will run throughout the summer leading up to the 2014 regular season, which begins Aug. 21.
Last season, Milford’s Jordan Hardy got the starting quarterback job after watching his older brother Jalen go down in injury to Rich. It wasn’t how he wanted the starting job, but the freshman QB piloted the Tigers to the 1A quarterfinals.
Coach Thane Marshall said that Hardy is the kind of player that defines Milford football — tough, dedicated and ready to win.
"He’s tough. Has a lot of upside, with good leadership, and really good at reading the defense," Marshall said. "He’s a very good athlete and I think he has the maturity to lead this team."
Weight and strength will be the difference-makers for the Tigers. With an offensive line with only one player less than 200 pounds, Hardy is going to have a line that gives him time to make the play or hand it off to Wade Netto or Kaydon Noyes. Netto ran for over a 1,000 yards last season and Noyes is ready to open a path for Milford.
"Wade is a tough, tough boy and Kaydon is an excellent blocker," Marshall said. "I’m expecting them to have excellent seasons."
Netto and Noyes are also expected to anchor the defense. Netto lead the state in tackles last year with 123. Marshall said providing they maintain their health, Milford’s only concern is winning the mental game.
"This season is about changing the mindset — play like a winner, be a winner," Marshall said. "If we play knowing we can win, we will."
Last season » 5-5 (lost in 1A quarterfinals)
Key returner » Sophomore Jordan Hardy will be starting the season at QB. Hardy’s ability to read defenses should open up play for the Tigers.
Players to watch » Two-way players Wade Netto and Kaydon Noyes will both anchor the defense and lead the running charge for Milford.
Biggest hole » The mental game. Coach Marshall is working to convince his players they are as good as any team in 1A.
Need to know » Unlike most 1A teams, Milford will have a 30-player roster. The Tigers are returning most of last season’s team and boast O-line with almost every player above 200 pounds.
Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.