Desert Vista sophomore quarterback Derek Kline steps behind center before taking the snap and rifling a 20-yard dart down the seam between two pursuing defenders. It’s still early in spring workouts but it’s easy to see why the skilled transfer from Reno is so highly regarded.
“There’s been a lot of [college] coaches come through asking about Derek,” head coach Dan Hinds said to Sports360AZ.com recently. “Because he wasn’t here last year it’s hard to answer some of those questions. So I just tell them, ‘come on out and watch.'”
Off the field Kline is adapting quite well to his new city, school and team since arriving in Arizona back in January after two years at Galena High School. He threw for nearly 2,000 yards and 23 touchdowns for the Grizzlies in two varsity seasons.
“It’s been good so far,” Kline said to Sports360AZ.com before a recent workout. “I’ve got some friends on the team. It’s been fun.”
What’s been fun for Hinds and his staff early in spring workouts has been watching Kline throw to his group of receivers and mesh with his new coaches and teammates.
“He throws the ball real well, he’s got great accuracy,” Hinds said. “He’s also a great kid and real strong leader, as well. We’re just glad he’s here. He’s a good addition to our football team.”
Kline said his family relocated to Valley this winter to allow him to compete at a higher level and hopefully get more college attention. So far, the move has certainly paid off. Despite not having any offers yet, there is genuine interest in the 6-foot-5 pro-style quarterback from schools around the country.
Desert Vista QB Derek Kline (transfer from Reno, Nevada) out at Rivals Camp pic.twitter.com/yICZNBhkyK
— AZ Varsity- Football (@AZHSFB) April 9, 2017
“I’ve been talking to Texas A&M every single week,” he said. “New Mexico State, Boise State, Hawaii. I’ve also been to talking to Texas, San Diego State and Purdue.”
— Derek Kline (@derekkline18) April 8, 2017
While Hinds and his staff have yet to name their starting quarterback heading into the season, he knows Kline has the chance to follow Alex Farina and Nick Thomas as Thunder signal-callers who went on to play in college.
“I’m pretty confident he’s going to do well.”