Standing at 6-foot-2 on the Central York practice field in a red Under Armour headband, arm sleeve and under shirt, Beau Pribula sticks out a bit from the other Panthers players wearing the normal orange, white and black practice uniforms.
While he's regarded by his coaches as a hard-working, team-first player, Pribula will undoubtedly be the focus of attention during the Central York season. That’s because the rising sophomore has not started a varsity game at quarterback or thrown his first touchdown pass, yet he still holds a pair of NCAA Division I scholarship offers from Temple University and Sacred Heart University.
Sacred Heart made him an offer when he was 15. He received the interest from Temple after he participated at a camp the university held this summer, impressing the coaches enough to earn an offer before his sophomore season began.
Despite the attention he will receive from college scouts and media members this season, Pribula tries to control what he can on the field and let everything else take care of itself.
“I just try to block it all out, because if you let that get into your head, nothing but bad things are going to happen,” Pribula said. “I just try to be the best quarterback I can be.”
Been there, done that: Part of the reason that Pribula has the maturity to deal with being pursued by colleges is that his older brother, Cade Pribula, just finished up his own recruiting process. Cade, now a member of the University of Delaware football program, spent the last three seasons leading the Panthers’ offense and his younger brother was there for the entire journey.
In seventh grade, Beau started coming around to practices and team events with Cade. There, Central York coach Josh Oswalt saw the younger Pribula throw for the first time and identified his talent.
“He was raw, (but) he had a pretty strong arm,” Oswalt said. “He had a lot to work on, but you knew he was going to be a pretty good quarterback.”
Cade said he knew from the first time his brother played a football game, in fifth grade for the Yorktowne Patriots, that he was going to be great.
Beau was always around the Panthers squad, even traveling to a 7-on-7 camp the team attended at Penn State University and serving as the team center during games.
In eighth grade, Beau played quarterback for the ninth-grade football team at Central York. In addition to preparing for his own games, he would be in quarterback meetings for the varsity team and learned from his older brother.
A new perspective: With Cade in his senior season in 2018, Beau joined the varsity team as a wide receiver and safety and made an impact. He was named a York-Adams Division I second-team all-star at safety and totaled 340 receiving yards.
Beau said playing wide receiver and safety last season added to his ability to read defenses when he’s under center.
“Learning the coverages and how they work definitely helps at quarterback,” Beau said. “If I can identify what coverage they’re in, I know how everything works from a defensive standpoint and what I would do if I was the safety.”
No pressure: With two scholarship offers before his first start, Beau knows opposing defenses and quarterbacks have Central York circled on their calendars, but he doesn’t mind the pressure.
“I can imagine I probably have a target on my back because of all the hype I’ve been getting preseason,” Beau said. “But, I like that.”
College coaches will be on the sidelines during Panthers games this season and his performance will be under scrutiny every Friday night, but Beau isn’t worried about recruiting during the season.
He said that watching his older brother go through the process helped and he’s used to it all at this point. His focus now is on winning games at Central York. He added that next summer will be when he will worry about college interest during camps.
The sophomore quarterback listed New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers as signal callers he likes to study, after his older brother of course.
Cade came back home from Delaware each weekend this summer and the brothers worked out together. Beau called his brother his personal quarterback coach. He said Cade's mentoring has been a major factor in his success.
His time now: Following up on what his older brother did at Central York won’t be easy, but Beau is ready for the challenge. He said that he wants to break the records his brother set, including the most passing yards in a York-Adams League season with 2,872 in 2018, but is more focused on the team’s success.
“What Cade did was unbelievable,” Beau said. “I am going to try and do what he did and break all of them, but I try not to get caught up in that.”
Cade said he is excited to keep tabs on what his brother and the Panthers are doing this season. Although the expectations from outside the Central York program are high for the sophomore quarterback, Cade said there’s nobody more prepared to thrive under the pressure than Beau.
“There are some other good quarterbacks in the league this year, but I think my brother is the best,” Cade said. “It’s his time now. I am excited to see what he can do.”
Reach Rob Rose at email@example.com.