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Zaubi polished for final year

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By Sam Draut

Players develop in the offseason, but few progress as much as South Oldham quarterback Drew Zaubi did from his sophomore to junior year. As he begins his senior season Friday night against 2016 2-A state champion Christian Academy of Louisville, he will start to showcase another offseason of development.

Though it’s unlikely Zaubi will take as big of a jump in offensive production this year as he did last season, doubling 2,317 yards and 32 touchdowns is no easy task, he should play an even cleaner game at quarterback after spending the summer attending college camps and competing in 7-on-7 tournaments.

In 2016, Zaubi passed for 2,317 yards and 32 touchdowns in a run-heavy offense. It isn’t wild to think South Oldham coach Jamie Reed could call more pass plays this season in Zaubi’s third year as the Dragons’ starting quarterback.

It’s said three things can happen when you throw a pass, and two of them are bad, but Zaubi was able to decrease one of the bads from his sophomore to junior year. He had 38 more passing attempts as a junior, but just one more interception than his sophomore year.

With a skilled receiving core around the ball, an uptick in passing isn’t unsettling to Zaubi’s teammates because of his development.

“Drew has improved tremendously over the offseason. He has been making throws that he wouldn’t have made last year,” South Oldham center Tanner Goodlett said. “He has been making throws that most high school quarterbacks and some college quarterbacks cannot make.”

Zaubi believes he is a more polished quarterback from a year ago.

“Last year I was entering camp thinking, ‘all right, I have gone to all these camps, shown out,’ I was just running on athleticism,” Zaubi said. “Now I have settled down and doing what is expected of me. I’m even better than I was last year. “

Although Zaubi admits that there is room for him to improve, he is more accurate and able to throw more routes consistently. He hopes South Oldham can utilize the passing game after establishing the run.

“Our run game is always setting up our passing game,” Zaubi said. “Teams will stack the box and we can throw the ball.”

Behind Reed’s offensive attack, Zaubi and the South Oldham offense was the second-highest scoring team in Class 5-A last season. It’s natural to assume the quarterback is the leader of an offense and Reed confirms Zaubi is no different.

“He is a leader on the team. I think everybody around the state is on a wait-and-see the type of the year he will have,” Reed said. “He has gotten bigger, faster and stronger.”

Dave Lackford, the publisher of Flavarsity.com and writer for Rivals.com, a recruiting evaluation website, believes Zaubi can make all the college throws and shows good anticipation and accuracy. Zaubi’s year-by-year improvement doesn’t come as a surprise to Lackford.  

“He never stops working on his game, he’s gotten stronger and faster. He studies film like a coach,” Lackford said. “He always has a positive message for his teammates and kids he trains with.

“His body language is that of a leader you can count on to weather the storm and keep his players focused.”

Whether Zaubi’s numbers take another jump or not this year, his offseason work has made him a better quarterback this fall.