Carson-Newman gets a steal with Juhlin

Maryville High senior Philip Juhlin signs a National Letter of Intent last week to continue his football career at Carson-Newman College next fall. Seated with Juhlin are friend, Ashley Sams, and father, Max. Standing, left to right, are Juhlin’s mother, Lisa, and sister, Sarah.

Photo by Brandon Shinn

Maryville High senior Philip Juhlin signs a National Letter of Intent last week to continue his football career at Carson-Newman College next fall. Seated with Juhlin are friend, Ashley Sams, and father, Max. Standing, left to right, are Juhlin’s mother, Lisa, and sister, Sarah.

Philip Juhlin is one of the fastest quarterbacks to ever play the position at Maryville.

He’s even better with his arm.

For that reason, Carson-Newman is getting a field general like few the school has ever seen. Juhlin signed a National Letter of Intent with the Eagles on national signing day last Wednesday.

Carson-Newman runs a veer offense that seems perfectly suited for the speedy Juhlin. The 6-foot-2 senior is plenty fast. As a passer, he was deadly accurate in 2009, passing for better than 3,000 yards and 29 touchdowns while yielding on three interceptions. It’s for that reason Carson-Newman is getting a one-of-a-kind player, Maryville coach George Quarles said.

“I think he can definitely do it,” he said. “I think he will give them a little different dimension than what they’re used to in that he can throw it a little better. He’s quick. He’s fast. He’s definitely a football player. He’s a competitor and he’s going to get bigger.

“I think they got a steal.”

Juhlin’s numbers alone tell the story of a superb senior season. It’s the offense he pieced together to compile those statistics that speaks best to the player the Eagles are getting.

Maryville sustained tremendous losses to graduation after a runner-up finish in Class 4A to close the 2008 season. In 2009, Juhlin took the reins of an offense that had to replace seven starters from the year before. The top four receivers from the season before were gone, along with three offensive linemen.

Complicating matters, the defense had to replace nine starters.

To make things even tougher, Maryville was moving to newly-created Class 6A for 2009, a scenario that would see the Rebels confront a grueling schedule with a largely underpowered team.

Arch-rival Alcoa dealt Maryville a decisive defeat in the season opener. A new district for the Rebels that included Farragut, Bearden and defending state champion Catholic awaited. Powered largely by Juhlin’s strong right arm, Maryville ran off 13 straight wins to reach the state title game, where a second-half rally fell just short of White Station.

Juhlin would finish his final game as a Rebel completing 19 of his 32 passes for 282 yards and a touchdown. He would rush for another 70 yards and three scores. Afterward, Juhlin never shed a tear.

When a Rebel teammate began to get a emotional with the runner-up trophy, Juhlin quickly snatched it away, exclaiming, “Give me that!”

The Rebels had left it all on the field all season, he said at the time. Maryville had earned that silver, runner-up trophy, he said. They hadn’t lost the gold one. Considering what the Rebels had overcome just to get there, few could argue.

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