NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — New quarterback Eli Friend enters the 2023 season with a unique task: Replacing one Manning while bearing the first name of another, but the Greenies quarterback is already making a name for himself. Friend is coming off a 300-total-yard, 6-touchdown game against Many, and Greenies Head Coach Nelson Stewart knows exactly where his quarterback’s performance ranks in his early career.
“I think it’s been his best one. I think Benton was outstanding. Benton was on the road. He was really able to push the ball downfield, command offense, but 6 total touchdowns in your fourth start, I don’t think imma cap him there. I think he’s got a few more in front of him, and the best is definitely yet to come,” Coach Stewart said.
“It all just comes down to receivers getting open and o-line protecting me for days. Everything started clicking. Anthony was getting open. Peter was getting open. George Loop ran a great little scramble drill for the first touchdown. We just kind of caught momentum,” Friend added, crediting his team for his performance.
Your friendly Newman quarterback waited 2 years to show his skills as a signal caller. Friend has been a running back and ball carrier, during his freshman and sophomore seasons, but the Greenies’ QB is still showing off with his legs, rushing for 78 yards and 2 touchdowns against the Tigers.
“When you have an o-line protecting you like that, giving you those easy yards and receivers blocking downfield, it really just makes running so much easier. Don’t really try to avoid that contact. Really bring it to them, and i think we’ve been able to show that,” Friend said.
“He’s kind of a throwback as a runner, kind of puts his shoulder down, but he can spin it. He can throw the quick stuff well, deep stuff. He’s just selfless, and he’s the reason you wanna coach,” Stewart stated.
Eli Friend of Newman, this week’s Best Chevrolet Best Player of the Week.
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