MAHOMET — Brad Anderson had worked hand-in-hand with Braden Finch for the last two years. When Finch was a freshman, Anderson was his offensive coordinator for the freshman team. When Finch was a sophomore, Anderson ran Mahomet-Seymour’s junior varsity offense.
Now, Finch is going to be the starting varsity quarterback, so it made perfect sense for new M-S coach Jon Adkins to bring Anderson up to varsity and become the offensive coordinator.
“It’s a bigger role with more responsibilities,” Anderson said. “I’ve coached every position on offense except for the offensive line, so I feel like I’m ready for it.”
Anderson knows Finch’s strengths and weaknesses like the back of his hand, and he’s played a big role in developing him into a starting quarterback.
Anderson believes he’s ready. Adkins believes he’s ready. Finch also believes he’s ready. The rest of us will find out on Aug. 30.
“He’s got a great arm, and he can throw it anywhere,” Anderson said. “Unfor-
tunately, that can be something he leans on a little too much. He loves the long balls and he loves relying on that big arm, so something we’ve been working on is getting the ball out quicker on those shorter routes and getting the completions rather than bombing one deep downfield.”
He reads the defense quickly. He’s got all the skills.”
Anderson has plenty of weapons at his disposal this season. Clay and Cole Hubble are both terrific weapons that can play out of the backfield. Jack Koller, Noah Crowley and Zach Travis are a solid batch of wideouts too.
“It’s a great opportunity to have because we can beat teams however way they allow us,” Anderson said. “We can run the ball, we can use our big offensive line and do that. If they want to stack the box, we can let the guys on the outside beat them that way. It’s a blessing.”
Finch will be the most important player on the M-S offense, but Clay Hubble is by far the most proven weapon. Hubble was a game-changer for the Bulldogs last year, and the junior is poised for a really big season. Finch’s patience reminds Anderson of New York Jets’ star running back Le’Veon Bell.
“Sometimes people think he’s too patient, but they usually never catch him from the sides or behind,” Anderson said. “He waits and lets his blocks get set up and he waits for a small opening and then he goes.”
Anderson coached at Illinois Wesleyan for three years and Centennial for six, so he’s been around the game for over a decade. Adkins’ playbook was even thicker than Wesleyan’s, but the Bulldogs have picked it up quickly.
Now, it’s time to go to work. M-S’ first practice was on Aug. 12. In two weeks, it will be time to suit up for real.
“I’ll always be thankful to Keith Pogue for giving me this shot in Mahomet two years ago, but then Jon stepped in and I think this change is going to be good,” Anderson said. “The offense is going to be exciting, and I’m ready to get started.”