As a junior last year at Brooklyn (N.Y.) Poly Prep, Faton Bauta (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla./Dwyer) was able to showcase his pure athleticism by lining up at quarterback, running back and linebacker. The 6-foot-3, 225-pound prospect ran for 800 yards, passed for 700 yards, and accounted for 11 touchdowns in an option-based offense at the small Brooklyn area private school.
After moving to Dwyer during the spring, Bauta has had to learn the pro-style offense for a 7A football team with state championship aspirations in one of the most talent-rich classifications in the entire country. Last year’s quarterback for Dwyer, Jacoby Brissett, has seen playing time at the University of Florida as a freshman, leaving behind some big shoes for Bauta to fill.
Bauta has thrown nine touchdown passes and rushed for six touchdowns while leading his team to a 7-1 record heading into a key regional matchup this Friday with Royal Palm Beach, also 7-1. Close to 20 schools, including the University of Georgia, have offered Bauta to date. But Bauta has to sort them out to see which programs really like him as a passer, and which are more likely to switch him to linebacker or fullback once they get him on campus. He does not regret playing multiple positions last year, even if it has cast some doubt as to his true position at the next level.
“In order to help my team have a chance to win, many of us, including me, had to play both ways,” Bauta said. “I guess I did that to the point where a lot of teams saw potential in me in different areas."
Bauta believes his experience at other positions benefited his development as a passer.
“I want to be a quarterback in college, and I think me playing all of those positions and succeeding in them only helps me to be a quarterback because the quarterback needs to know what everyone is doing on the field," Bauta said. "I am able to understand not only what the offense and defense are doing, but also what the individuals are doing. I know what the mentality of a linebacker is on play-action, or a safety on the deep route, or a running back on fourth-and-one. “