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Quarterbacks to battle for Trojans starting slot

There will be two athletes, junior Parker Hart and senior TJ Milk, battling for the position of quarterback this year.

Milk has led the team the past two seasons, and Parker led the junior varsity team last year until he broke his collarbone against Clark midseason.

Both athletes are around 6 feet tall and similar in weight. The contest will be in accuracy and arm strength under pressure. The chosen quarterback will lead the team with its new pass-heavy spread offense that will be introduced by new coach Adam Gent.

TJ Milk is a two-sport athlete that played football and basketball. Milk said since last season he has been working on his speed.

“I worked a lot on my speed this summer,” he said. “I went to one camp just to work on speed.”

Milk has also put on some weight and has grown a few inches in height. Since basketball season he has grown three inches and is now 6-foot, 1-inch. He has been playing football since he was in a kid in Pop Warner.

Milk has been playing long enough that he has learned the value of working hard in the weight room all summer long.

“I know that if I keep working hard in the offseason it will pay off,” Milk said.

Milk said he is not worried about the new offense.

“I love the new offense and I think we will be better than before,” he said. “And as far as throwing the ball more I think the team will be even better.”

He added that the offensive line took a big hit losing the likes of brothers Jace and Jax Clayton, but he likes the way the new line has been working out.

Since the beginning of the summer, Milk has gone to six different college camps, hoping to get his name out there to colleges and he said he was going to a couple more before the summer was out.

Milk said he is not threatened by Hart and welcomes the competition.

“We are close and I don’t think I would be where I am today because he is pushing me to be a better quarterback and a better football player,” Milk said. “He and I get along. I am trying to be stronger than him and he is motivating me to work harder.”

Milk said along with speed he has been busy working on his accuracy and arm strength.

“I think my accuracy is my best quality,” he said. “My arm is coming along too. I want to be the best I can be.”

Hart has been working on his football and his baseball during the summer. He is a three-sport athlete and plays football, basketball and baseball. Like Milk, he has played football since grade school and also played middle school ball.

He said he has played quarterback since seventh grade and he has slowly improved at the position since.

“In seventh grade, I considered myself a pocket passer,” he said. “Then in high school I changed. I am now more of a runner and scrambler. I think my best asset is my arm strength. I can throw the ball 50 yards with a step and throw.”

Hart said he has been working on his accuracy all summer too and since his injury he has added 20 to 30 pounds of muscle. He attended a National Underclassmen Combine Five Star Showcase in Los Angeles over vacation.

He said although he is competing with Milk he has been supportive of him.

“I know I will have to work hard to beat him and if he beats me he will be the better athlete,” he said.

Gent did not return a request for an interview.

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