Originally created 08/10/00

Revere takes center stage



STATESBORO, Ga. -- When the cameras and microphones weren't on Georgia Southern superstar fullback Adrian Peterson on Wednesday, it seemed the spotlight was on J.R. Revere.

The man who will replace three-year starter Greg Hill at quarterback had some explaining to do.

"What will life be like at Georgia Southern without Greg Hill lining up at quarterback?"

"Can J.R. Revere be just as good as Greg Hill?"

"Will J.R. Revere deliver a national championship like Greg Hill did?"

Revere is no longer the promising backup quarterback behind Hill. It's the former LaGrange High product's time to take over.

"For the past two seasons it's like I've been a caged animal roaring at the top of my lungs, and nobody has ever been hearing me," Revere said during Wednesday's media day at Allen E. Paulson Stadium. "Now I feel like, `Heh, I got a voice and an opinion.'

"I won't lie to you when I say that I feel like I'm in more control, and that's a great feeling. It's something I've been working at for awhile."

Replacing Hill's 1,529 yards rushing, 1,461 yards passing and his 33 touchdowns from last year's 13-2 national championship season won't be easy for Revere. However, the 5-foot-11, 184-pound junior is determined to give it a try.

"There was time when (Greg) did things, and I thought, `Wow, how in the world did he do that,"' Revere said. "But it was all athletic ability and just God-given talent. I can't ever go out and do what he did. Greg and I are two totally different quarterbacks, but the only thing that I want to do is win, and he did that probably about as good as anybody who's ever played here."

Revere isn't exactly starting from scratch either. The two-sport star who also plays baseball for the Eagles, has played in 20 games, mostly in mop-up roles during the past two seasons.

In 11 games last season, Revere managed to finish as the team's third leading rusher with 452 yards on 60 carries. He scored 11 touchdowns, including 10 rushing touchdowns. As a passer, he connected on 16 of his 35 attempts for 198 yards.

"I think J.R. will be fine," said Georgia Southern coach Paul Johnson. "If everybody plays as hard as he does, we'll be OK. When he's played, he's made some big plays. The thing about him is that when he's in there, he doesn't rattle. He keeps his composure, and when he gets out on the field, he expects to do it, and he usually does."

It also helps that Revere will have a Heisman Trophy candidate in the backfield in Peterson.

"J.R. is a great guy, and he's got great speed and quickness just like Greg had," Peterson said. "I don't think at the quarterback position that we're going to miss a beat."

Revere is determined to meet the challenge.

"From (former quarterbacks) (Tracy) Hamm to Hill, it's always been the same, and the expectations shouldn't change," he said. "We've proven now that we can do it (win a national title), and now we want to do it again. I'm up to the challenge."

Reach Tim Morse at (706) 823-3216 or timmorse@augustachronicle.com.