- Scott Powers, ESPN Staff Writer
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If Bolingbrook senior Brad Geever was going to throw for 300-plus yards and account for six touchdowns three years ago, his best bet was to do so on a video game.
Three years ago, football wasn't even a sport he played. Back then, he considered devoting himself to baseball.
Geever had grown up with hockey and soccer, but he had dropped both in high school to concentrate on baseball. It was where he thought his future might be. Then one day, he was throwing a football around in gym class, and he caught a coach's eye.
Now, he's in the midst of his second season as Bolingbrook's starting varsity quarterback, and he's coming off possibly the best game of his career. In the Raiders' upset of Lincoln-Way East on Friday, Geever was 13-of-20 for 307 yards and four touchdowns and rushed for another two scores. The performance was good enough to make him the ESPNChicago.com Prep Athlete of the Week.
"It's very surprising," Bolingbrook coach John Ivlow said of Geever's development. "It doesn't usually happen that easy and quick. He's a student of the game. He's smart. The coaches take home a copy of the game tape each week, and he does, too."
Athletically, Geever found that football came naturally to him. He was gifted with the ability to run and pass. It was the mental magnitude of learning plays, reading defenses and all that goes along with being a quarterback to which Geever had to adjust.
"I had never seen a play sheet before coming into my sophomore year," Geever said. "I was looking at it and saying, 'What do I want to do with it?'"
In time, Geever figured it out. He also discovered that he enjoyed the psychological aspects of being a quarterback. He liked studying game film and found that it made him a better quarterback. He even went so far as to track down a VCR -- a task he found difficult in today's DVD age -- and create a makeshift film area in his bedroom.
"You look at people like Peyton Manning and Tom Brady, and you see all the on-the-field stuff," Geever said. "You never see what they do at practice and off the field. Everyone thinks it's just practicing for two or three hours. When I talked to the quarterback coach [Jeff Christensen], I worked with this summer who had played in the NFL, he talked about 10-hour film sessions. You got to know what you're doing on and off the field."
Going into Friday's Lincoln-Way East game, Geever was prepared. He felt he had a good feel of the Griffins' tendencies from watching tape and his previous experiences playing them. On game day, he exploited those tendencies.
In the second quarter, he hooked up with Aaron Bailey for a 76-yard touchdown to put Bolingbrook ahead 12-0. He then connected with Chris Williams on a 39-yard pass to go ahead 19-7 before halftime. He added in the second half touchdown passes of 24 and 28 yards and rushed for scores of 1 and 12 yards to complete his night in the 46-24 win.
"Listening to the predictions all week and everything in the media, it was, Lincoln-Way East this, Lincoln-Way East that," Geever said. "It gave our offense way more focus. No one expected us come out and put up 46 points against a team like Lincoln-Way East."
For the season, Geever has completed 60 of 106 passes for 1,029 yards and 14 touchdowns.
As far as playing in college, Geever has heard from a few schools, including Western Illinois. Ivlow believes he has the talent to play in college.
"He's starting to get some looks," Ivlow said. "People wanted to see him his senior year before they did anything. I don't know what level he'll play at. Whatever that level may be, he's going to be a good player."
Scott Powers covers high school and college sports for ESPNChicago.com and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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