Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Prep football: Palmetto picks a quarterback

photo by Paul Videla
The Palmetto Tigers have chosen a successor to Trent Miller, above, now a walk-on at USF.
Spencer Atkins will be Palmetto's quarterback this season.
"It's no secret now - he won the job," Palmetto coach Dave Marino said Wednesday.
Atkins, a  rising senior, hails from Illinois and trained under Chris Weinke at IMG's football academy.
Trent Miller, who quarterbacked the Tigers to the Class 5A state final four last season, also worked with Weinke at IMG before coming to Palmetto. Miller is now a walk-on at USF.
The race for Miller's successor was between Atkins and Chris Tuten, a rising sophomore who started last year for Palmetto's JV team.
"Chris is good, it's just Spencer has really taken that step forward," Marino said. "I think his age and maturity has helped him take that step forward to be the guy."
Despite the difference in age and experience between the candidates, Marino said the competition was wide open from the start. He also said Tuten will get plenty of action when Palmetto heads to Venice on Aug. 24 for its Kickoff Classic.
"We gave them all equal reps, and we're still giving them equal reps," Marino said. "We're going to try and get Chris some valuable time against Venice - one last evaluation, just to make sure we're not missing anything and Spencer is the guy."
Though he'll be the backup this season, Tuten will probably assume the reins after Atkins graduates in May. So this year will be important in terms of his development, though Marino said Tuten is already impressive for a player who has yet to take a varsity snap in a regular-season game.
"Another year to mature, another year in our system, it's basically going allow him to groom slowly," Marino said. "If he was thrown into the fire as a sophomore being our starter, we feel confident that he would have been OK. But there's no substitute for time and experience."


  1. Pretty bad whenever Palmetto's Coaching Staff has to recruit an outside QB and not use the talents of his own players.

  2. Is Palmetto recruiting out of IMG, 2 QB in 2 years?

  3. Good Question? Maybe . No telling what's happening these days.

  4. Other schools have been doing it for years, if the kids choose to attend Palmetto (FYI...the IMG kids are not forced to go to Palmetto) instead of where you want them to go then your lost.....stop hating on those Tigers--Palmetto would have had several state championships by now had all the Palmetto residents/players went to their district school

  5. without a doubt MANATEE has been stealing PHS players for YEARS!!! however now that PHS has a fantastic staff kids CHOOSE to go their- they absolutely do not recruit- god forbid there could be lots of talent north of the river combined with school choice and one of the best staffs in the area kids now want to go to PHS- better get used to it bc they are building a "PROGRAM"

    1. How were the stealing? Students were choosing MHS or zone due to affirmative action. Not sure how they were stealing.

  6. Manatee has been doing it for years.

    Are you kidding me.

    Joe will leave when cord leaves too!!!

  7. IMG kid Spencer is not home grown first of all, and the reason he chose Palmetto is that he would not getting any playing at MHS or SE. Palmetto is the next best choice over Bayshore and Bradenton River.

  8. I'm so sick of Manatee getting the spot light. The players and staff are just as good as Manatee. Wathout for the next couple of years at least, Palmetto will be the team to beat in Manatee county. It's too bad the they do not get any public exposure... they deserve it, the town of Palmetto deserves it!

  9. they dont get any exposure because manatee beats them year in and year out

  10. If PHS was recruiting they would have gone after Marino's nephew Dominic Marino who is the starter at Riverview. And stop all the hating it has gone on for years at ALL of the schools if a kid wants to play somewhere they will find a way.