Becoming Bohannon: Part One
The following is the first in a three- part series revolving around Earle Bulldogs quarterback Gerry Bohannon with this initial article focusing on what an average day in the life of the 17- year- old Division 1 recruit has been like this offseason
In between his junior and senior years of high school, Earle four-star quarterback and Division 1 prospect Gerry Bohannon has been thoroughly enjoying his summer, though it could hardly be referred to as a vacation.
On an average week day, the Bulldogs signal caller wakes up at 4:15 a.m.
every morning in order to drive to Shabazz Fitness in Memphis to work on developing his skills behind center. Before most people are awake, Bohannon is hooked up to bungee cords while darting around cones or through sand.
“It’s a lot harder to move than what you’re used to doing,” Bohannon said.
“So, when you unhook, you’re a whole lot faster.
You just do everything a lot faster.”
The 6-4, 212-pound quarterback leaves Memphis around 7:30 a.m. and then heads to do team workouts with the Earle Bulldogs, lasting from 9:00 a.m. until noon.
Exhausted from practice, Bohannon then heads to the public pool in Earle, but not to relax. The Bulldog’s leader on the field then takes a shift as a lifeguard from 3:00 p.m.
until 5:00 p.m. Bohannon says that many of his teammates, including his top two favorite targets at wide receiver, usually accompany him to the pool after practice, providing some relief from hot summer days in Earle and also a unique team building opportunity off of the football field. “Normally, they all come down to the pool,” Bohannon said. “I spend a lot of time with my receivers. Ojoshua (Bunton) is with me most of the day and I always go see (Leeandre) Milow.”
Milow (6-3, 175) and Bunton (6-1, 165) certainly give the senior quarterback two big targets on the gridiron and hauled in a good portion of Bohannon’s 2,734 passing yards last season. The Earle signal caller says that their size, along with their attitude, make them almost impossible to cover and that since opposing defenses will have serious trouble trying to double team both of the Earle pass catchers, Bulldogs fans can expect to see big things from each of his favorite targets this upcoming season.
“Whichever one is single covered, that’s most likely who’s getting the ball,” Bohannon said.
“Whichever one gets the safety over the top, the other one’s open… They walk onto the field and they both feel like no one can hold them in a one-onone situation. They know the guy can’t hold them so they always end up open.
And, I trust them. I’ll throw to them the most.
They’re always trying to get extra work and catch the ball the most. They’re bigger targets and I feel more comfortable with them.”
After a long day of football and work, surely nobody would blame Bohannon for going back home and relaxing. After all, he does wake up at 4:15 a.m. every morning.
But, the Louisville, Arkansas, Baylor, Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Georgia recruit refuses to relax after he clocks out from the pool.
Most days, Bohannon will then usually drive to Marion or West Memphis and practice seven-onseven drills with his counterparts from the 6A schools in Crittenden County. Bohannon says that the more time he can spend throwing a football, the finer he tones the art of playing quarterback.
“I always go out there and play,” Bohannon said. “It’s something else to do. It’s just a lot of reps to get in, throwing the ball. So, I enjoy doing it…It’s always helpful to get more reps in than what you do. You always want to perfect your craft. So, it’s a good way to perfect it and I love competing.”
Following a long day of working up a hunger in the sun and on the gridiron, a starving Bohannon returns home around 9:30 p.m. He admits to skipping lunch some days with only a breakfast of oatmeal, water and sometimes a banana fueling him up. That is, until his mother provides him a home cooked dinner consisting of chicken, fish or pasta with a side of green beans or a salad.
Bohannon says that he never eats fried food and eats a very low-fat diet.
However, the local phenom does admit to breaking away from his strict diet at least once a week in season, enjoying gummy worms due to a ritual of his prior to every football game. Bohannon’s gummy worm tradition immolates that of Marshawn Lynch and Skittles.
“I eat sour crawlers,” Bohannon said laughing. “I eat some of them before every game. I’ve got a big bag at home. I just eat a few before my games. It’s just something I love.
Bohannon’s mother also provides nutrients for her son’s mind, such as books and crossword puzzles.
With a mother who works as his principal at Earle High School, Bohannon says the value of education has always been instilled in him, evident by his GPA which currently resides somewhere between a 3.85 and a 3.9.
“She’s always been strict on me,” Bohannon said of his mother. “It’s always been the same. Nothing’s changed really. She’s been the same way since I first started school. She doesn’t play about education. It’s not a big deal that she is my principal. It’s normal to me. I’m used to it.”
As Bohannon settles into his bed, education and football unite in his head as he works on his nightly crossword puzzles. The four-star recruit gives himself a five-minute time limit to complete these crossword puzzles. Earle’s quarterback says this helps him learn how to make quick, intelligent decisions under pressure but without being in too big of a hurry.
“I time myself,” Bohannon said. “I get five minutes…because I need to know how to think fast and under pressure but not rushed. So, I try to work on that and it helps me stay calm and not rushed.”
“It also helps with test taking,” Bohannon added.
“You always have these big, timed tests that you have to take. So, practicing that, it keeps you calm for when you are timed.
You’re going fast but you’re not rushing to where you can’t think and get the correct answer.”
Bohannon does relax on Sundays, either reading “In the Browns Family” or watching Power. However, usually when the 17-yearold watches TV it’s because he’s studying game film of his opponents or dissecting the game of other, more prominent quarterbacks.
“Every single night I get on YouTube on my PS4 and pull up at least five quarterbacks a night,” Bohannon said. “I’ve probably watched every quarterback you can think of, every college quarterback, NFL. I watch their workouts. I watch their training. I watch what they think in a game. I watch their highlights. I watch their game film. I watch everything, just to see what they do and how I can add that to my game to make me more successful.”
In tomorrow’s edition of The Evening Times, find out how Bohannon enhanced his game physically and mentally at Nike’s Elite 11 football camp in Los Angeles, California.
By Collins Peeples