Grace receiver saves the day as quarterback - KLTV.com-Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

Grace receiver saves the day as quarterback

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TYLER, TX (KLTV) -

Entering training camp, Grace coach Mike Maddox was running out of options with the most important position on the team.

Three quarterbacks on the depth chart, including division one prospect Kade Clayton, were out with injury.

Ready or not, starting receiver and defensive back Chandler Nutt was thrown behind center.

"It was difficult," said Maddox.  "I was hard on him at times. There was so much to cram in short amount of time. Chandler's a young man that knows how to play to his strengths."

Nutt was excited about the opportunity, but admits it hasn't been easy.

"It's tough because you have to know everyone's responsibilities on every play," said Nutt.  "You get used to it after a couple of games. Once you get some rhythm, you take it from there."

Cramming an entire off season of preparation into a the preseason, Nutt has learned on the fly. The junior has accounted for 22 touchdowns, leading the Cougars to a 7 and 1 record.

"For Chandler to step into that and learn a new position, that's a lot to put on one guys shoulders and a hard role to take," said Grace linebacker Michael Fidell.

The adjustment was made even more difficult when Kade Clayton injured his knee.  The Cougars star running back was lost for the season.  Clayton says Nutt has responded well.

"I think at the beginning it was really hard on him," said Clayton.  "I think he struggled in that first game with Dallas Christian ever since then he's grown and been doing better."

Nutt plays more than quarterback. Because of injuries, Nutt continues to play defensive back for the Cougars, never leaving the field.

"He can punt the ball if we need him," said Maddox.  "He can return kicks. He wants to be on the field all the time. Even if he's our quarterback we don't hesitate to put him on defense."

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