Most people have a Quick answer when asked to choose a pre-season favorite for Kentucky's Mr. Football.
James Quick, Trinity's senior wide receiver who already has 191 catches, 2,957 yards and 40 touchdowns in his career, is a popular pick.
Trinity linebacker Jason Hatcher and defensive back Ryan White usually make the Mr. Football conversation, too, along with Lexington Catholic quarterback Kyle Bolin, who has committed to Louisville, and Apollo lineman Hunter Bivin, who's bound for Notre Dame.
Quick gets the most attention because of his talent, accomplishments and status as a coveted recruit, and because he's a stick-out star for the defending national champs.
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But Franklin County Coach Chris Tracy thinks Flyers senior wide receiver Ryan Timmons deserves just as much hype for Mr. Football.
"I'd put Ryan up against anybody in the state, including Quick," Tracy said.
Quick and Timmons have a lot in common. Both are marvelous athletes not only in football, but also in basketball and track.
Quick had a fabulous junior year. He helped Trinity to state titles in football and basketball, and he was state champ in the Class 3A 200-meter dash. (He was runner-up in the 100.)
Timmons had a terrific junior year, too. He led Franklin County to its first unbeaten regular season in football in 32 years; he was a standout on the Flyers' basketball team that reached the 11th Region semifinals; and he swept the 100 and 200 dashes in the 2A state track meet.
Quick has scholarship offers from such powers as Alabama, Ohio State and Oregon as well as Kentucky and Louisville. He said he will announce his college decision in early January at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl Game in San Antonio.
Timmons has offers from Arkansas, UK, Purdue, Illinois and WKU. Tracy thinks Ohio State will get on that list, too. Timmons hopes to make his college choice before the end of September.
There's no argument that Timmons and Quick are the two most electrifying players in the state.
Last season Timmons, a 5-foot-11, 195-pound burner, had 38 catches for 1,100 yards and 18 touchdowns, and he ran 62 times for 1,382 yards and 20 TDs. He put on a phenomenal show against Woodford County when he touched the ball 10 times and had seven touchdowns.
Timmons, who wears No. 5 like his favorite player Reggie Bush wore at Southern Cal, tried to explain his game-breaking skills:
"When I get the ball I'm thinking, 'don't get touched" — like when I was a little kid playing tag or flag football. So every time I get the ball I do my best not to get touched, fall down or get tackled."
Tracy said Timmons has special "spatial" awareness and vision.
"Against Anderson County last year, there were literally three guys converging on him. Ryan stopped, and all three guys ran into each other. Ryan went around them and scored.
"Nobody in the state has the side-to-side stuff that Ryan does."
The 6-1, 180-pound Quick has been a key cog in helping Trinity's Big Green Machine churn out state titles the past two years. At his best when he's stretching the field, Quick had 82 catches for 1,434 yards and 21 TDs last season. As a sophomore he had 88 catches for 1,115 yards and 15 TDs.
Quick said playing different sports makes him a better athlete. "Track helps me with my speed in football; football helps me with my physicalness in basketball, and basketball keeps me in shape for all sports."
Quick and Timmons have the same team goal this football season: a state title.
Trinity, a prohibitive favorite in 6A, is seeking its 10th championship in 12 years, and 22nd overall. Coach Bob Beatty's Rock stars include Hatcher, who has committed to Southern Cal, White, who's committed to Vanderbilt, and quarterback Travis Wright, who's passed for 5,773 yards and 73 TDs over the last two years.
Can Trinity match last season's 14-0 record and No. 1 national rating (by Sports Illustrated and Rivals.com)?
"Absolutely," Quick said. "We're going to try to do everything we did last year, but even better. We know we've got to work even harder."
Franklin County hopes to build on last season's success when it won its first 11 games before getting blasted by Conner 84-48 in the second round of the 5A playoffs.
The Flyers' offense should be just as potent as last year when it averaged 50 points a game. Besides Timmons, they return quarterback Logan Woodside, who threw for 2,560 yards and 29 TDs, and skill guys Greg Maupin and Chris Roberts.
"Everybody here is expecting big things," Tracy said. "I remind the players at least once a practice about how we finished last season, and how we don't want it to end like that again."
Mr. Football winners are almost always offensive stars who post big numbers, which Timmons and Quick figure to do.
Quarterbacks have won Mr. Football honors 13 times in 26 years, and Bolin might be the front-runner at that glamor position. The Lexington Catholic standout has thrown for 5,482 yards and 49 TDs, and run for 924 yards and 18 TDs in his career.
Even though the 6-6, 290-pound Bivin is regarded as one of the top college prospects in the state, the odds are stacked against an offensive lineman winning Mr. Football.