Riverside QB Loving out indefinitely with injury

Published 12:10 am Saturday, August 1, 2015

RESERVE — For the second straight year Riverside Academy is facing a sudden quarterback change late in the summer after sophomore quarterback Jordan Loving was ruled out indefinitely two weeks ago with an undisclosed injury.

Riverside Academy head coach Bill Stubbs said Loving, who also served as a pitcher for the Riverside baseball team in the spring, has a lingering injury that was identified in mid-July, which may prevent him from playing the entire year.

The 6-foot-3, 205-pound Loving himself was forced into action last year after former starting quarterback Deuce Wallace, a Vanderbilt commit, transferred to Tennessee in the summer.

Jordan Loving threw for 40 touchdowns as a freshman, but may miss 2015 due to injury.

Jordan Loving threw for 40 touchdowns as a freshman, but may miss 2015 due to injury.

Although just a freshman, Loving stepped right in to take command of Riverside’s spread offense and threw for 40 touchdowns en route to the a state semifinals appearance ending the team’s season only one game short of the state championship.

“(Loving) is going to be out right now indefinitely,” Stubbs said. “So we are going to have to scramble again. We are taking one of our best receivers and are bringing him back over and stat working him at quarterback.”

Now Riverside will try to duplicate that success with sophomore Jared Butler. The 6-foot-3, 175-pound Butler played receiver last year.

“He has talent, he has all of the tools necessary to be a great one,” Stubbs said.

As only a freshman, Butler already received interest from Nicholls State University, which offered  him scholarship at receiver.

Stubbs said while Butler does not have regular season game experience at quarterback, coaches were already looking to take advantage of his speed and playmaking ability by inserting him as quarterback a few times a game in more run-oriented wildcat formations in the 2015 season.

In fact, during spring football Butler played quarterback while Loving was playing baseball.

“We were able to do some things with (Butler) to get him going over those 10 days,” Stubbs said.

“But the anticipation was he was still going to be able to play receiver and maybe get 15-20 snaps a game at wildcat which would give us a change of pace.

“Now he has got to go full bore.”

Butler has already shown promise this summer, leading the Rebels to a 7-on-7 win over Destrehan, the runner-up in last year’s 5A state championship.

“He showed some really good things and of course there were some other things where we know where his weaknesses are that we have to strengthen,” Stubbs said.

Stubbs said that performance is encouraging for what the full season has to offer.

“He is going to make a lot of noise,” Stubbs said. “The kid is a phenomenal athlete and he can get it done — it is just going to be how quickly he can come into his own. He runs the football team well. The kids pay close attention to the things he says, he is much more mature beyond his age. You just don’t know until the bull starts running and that is going to be the $64,000 question.”