Scott Lathrop begins his college football career as a starter
The Southeast Missouri State University football team will turn to a young quarterback in redshirt freshman Scott Lathrop to lead the Redhawks after losing starting quarterback Kyle Snyder to injury.
Lathrop was named the starter for Southeast during preseason camp after Snyder, a transfer from Ohio University, tore his ACL on Aug. 10.
Lathrop, who has never played in a college football game, has had to adapt to his new role in the offense quickly with the season opener Thursday at Central Michigan University.
"When you're running second team you don't get as many reps," Southeast coach Tony Samuel said. "He's getting a lot more reps now and he's getting a lot more comfortable with the offense because of the repetitions."
Lathrop attended Warrenton High School in Warrenton, Mo. He rushed for over 3,000 yards, threw for 4,000 yards and had 76 touchdowns during his high school career. He redshirted last season and played behind Snyder for the majority of camp this summer.
"I feel like I'm picking it up well, and, with the guys that are around me, there's not so much pressure," Lathrop said. "I have a great offensive line, great running backs and great receivers, and with how good they are, it takes pressure off of me."
Lathrop had to embrace a new role as the starter when Snyder went down for the season, but the rest of the offense had to make adjustments as well. Running backs, linemen and receivers that had become comfortable with Snyder during camp had to acclimate to Lathrop as the starting quarterback.
"Scott is young, but he can get the job done," wide receiver Spencer Davis said. "But as receivers we have to go a lot harder and just know what we need to do coming off the line, so it's easier for the quarterback to adjust to what we are doing."
Lathrop said the confidence and belief that his whole team has in him gives him confidence in return.
Snyder was picked to replace record-setting quarterback Matt Scheible, who graduated. Although Scheible no longer plays, he still took the time to help Lathrop and the other quarterbacks during camp.
"He knows the offense inside and out, exactly what to think on every play and where to go," Lathrop said. "He's helped me a lot with reading defenses and just being a better quarterback overall."
The team finished last season with a record of 3-8. Its first home game will be against Mars Hill College at 6 p.m. Sept. 8 at Houck Stadium.
"We're going to come out and compete," Lathrop said. "We aren't lying down, and we expect to win."