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July 19, 2005COLLEGE STATION, Texas - You could see by the gleam in his eyes, Jevan Snead was going to enjoy this.
As he took the field for the first game of the Fox Sports Southwest Texas 7-on-7 State Championship on Friday at Texas A&M, Snead licked his fingers, smiled slightly, took the first snap and then it was on.
Seven-on-seven football is a game that allows elite quarterbacks to excel and do damage on every single play and Snead, a four-star quarterback that is heading to Florida, loved every single second of it.
"You won't get another opportunity to anything like this any other time in the year," Snead said. "You get man-to-man on almost every play and it really allows you go show off your arm and make some big throws. I really love this type of setting."
Snead had a banner tournament, earning a spot on the all-tournament team. He did all he could to help his team advance to the championship bracket, but when rain eliminated 32 teams from the competition the weekend ended early for the 6-foot-3, 205-pounder.
But for Snead, who was also heavily recruited by Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas and Texas A&M before he committed to the Gators, it was still something he cherished.
"I had a lot of people out there watching me and focused on how I was going to do," Snead said.
"So that put some pressure on me, but it's really not much different than what it is during the season or what it's going to be like in college. You can't be scared or worried about what people think. You just have to go out there and throw the football and make the right plays."
Despite all the individual glory that Snead has gotten throughout the recruiting process and then again at the tournament, he said he's zeroed in on helping Stephenville win a state championship and the 7-on-7 tournament goes a long way toward reaching that goal.
"Seven-on-seven really helps your timing and your reads with the receivers a whole lot," Snead said. "The defense is almost always in man-to-man, so the receivers get to work hard on routes and practice getting open. It allows you to work with those receivers and begin to build a good bond with them.
"Then as a team, you always want to win, so when you make it to a tournament like this where only the best teams in the state are playing it also helps everybody's confidence."
Speaking of which, Snead does have plenty of it. He might come off to others as he's cocky, but deep down inside he says being sure of one's self is a big deal to being a successful quarterback.
"To be a winner you have to believe that you are one," Snead said.
Even opposing quarterbacks agree that Snead has what it takes to be special on the next level.
"In a tournament like this you want to get to sit back and get a chance to watch all the other great quarterbacks," Abilene, Texas, standout Taylor Potts said. "I know one of the guys that I was really excited to see play was Snead. He's a really talented quarterback that has a great arm and a quick release."
The Florida-bound quarterback was flattered by Potts' comments, and he said after you strip away all the attention from the colleges and media that he's doing what he loves to do best - playing football.
"Some times I try to hide it, but I just have to smile because I'm getting to play football," Snead said. "It doesn't get any better than this."