The benefit of a dual-threat quarterback is the ability to not only pass from the pocket but also to effectively run in open space.
But such versatility comes with double the injury risk, as Colin Neuhoff knows all too well. The St. Mark’s senior has been banged up plenty of times during his two seasons as a starter, but always seems to bounce back.
(ABOVE: Dual-threat quarterback Colin Neuhoff brings an exciting element to the Lions offense. Photo: Rob Graham)
Last season, Neuhoff suffered a lacerated spleen during the season finale against ESD that caused him to be hospitalized for a week in intensive care. And early this season, the Preston Hollow resident suffered a concussion during the second quarter against Houston St. John’s, causing him to miss the next game.
The spleen ailment was especially difficult for the three-sport standout because it meant no physical activity for three months, so he missed the entire wrestling season. He returned for baseball in the spring but admits he was still initially hesitant about full-contact football drills.
“It’s definitely been my favorite sport my whole life, so that’s definitely extra motivation to finish strong and leave everything on the field.” -Colin Neuhoff
“I was more knowledgeable of the situation and tried to take smarter hits,” said Neuhoff, who wears a rib protector this season. “Part of me was a little more worried, but it didn’t really hold me back. Once I started playing, I forgot about that and went back to my old self.”
Neuhoff was the primary quarterback in every game for the Lions as a junior. He won a position battle for the starting before the season, after St. Mark’s suffered through a one-win campaign the year before — when Neuhoff was playing cornerback.
He led St. Mark’s to a 5-3 season by completing more than 64 percent of his passes including 15 touchdowns. Neuhoff also rushed for a team-high 358 yards and three scores.
“We had a whole new mentality. We started off much more bonded and determined,” Neuhoff said. “I just had to come in there and do my job. I just thought about one game at a time and tried to execute.”
Despite Neuhoff’s resilience, injuries have taken their toll both physically and psychologically. After the concussion, he made the decision not to pursue playing football in college, meaning his career will end with the Nov. 2 season finale against rival ESD.
“Once I got my brain involved, it made me reconsider a little bit,” he said. “It’s definitely been my favorite sport my whole life, so that’s definitely extra motivation to finish strong and leave everything on the field.”