Ty Pigrome, of Clay-Chalkville, burst onto the scene in the fall of 2014 in an ESPN televised season opener against Niceville, Florida. He was absolutely electric, rushing for over 200 yards with 3 touchdowns, and passing for another, going 11-14 for another 200 yards.
Ever since, the quiet kid from the quiet suburb north and east of Birmingham has made everyone from this area stand up and take notice.
It is ironic that perhaps everyone in the Birmingham area (other than Clay fans) thought that Clay might take a step back before that Niceville game. Clay had just graduated Hayden Moore, a very good quarterback who was on his way to play for Tommy Tuberville at Cincinnati. All Hayden has done since then is light up the stat sheet. He threw for 560 yards in his first game under center vs Memphis.
Pigrome has taken the Cougars to the next level since the beginning of the 2014 season. He is now 29-0 as a starter, with a 6A state title under his belt, and recently named the Gatorade Alabama Player of the Year. Friday night, Ty and the Cougars go for the repeat against Spanish Fort out of the Mobile area.
I have watched him several times in person and he reminds me a great deal of Michael Vick. He runs a 4.5 forty, but he has that shifty ability to make people miss that Vick had. He has a cannon and fantastic touch. Off the field, the soft spoken young man is a class act. I've met him on several occasions as host of Trussvile's Tribune Sports Live. He personally thanks us for covering his team every time he sees us.
Yet Ty has only one SEC offer, Missouri. He has several other big school offers from places like Purdue, Indiana, and Georgia Tech. His coach, Jerry Hood has this to say "There’s a lot of guys missing out on him. The Purdues, the Indianas, the Georgia Techs of the world that really want him, he’s going to make them a hell of a quarterback."
Why are other schools not jumping on this young man? Detractors point to his stature (5'11") and the fact he has two big time coveted receivers in T.J. Simmons (Bama commit) and Nico Collins. But if you watch Pigrome do what he does running and throwing, you'll see what I see. He is a proven winner who leads his team.
If Clay scores over 30 points Friday night in the state title, they will break the school record for points scored. It's a brand new record, since Pigrome and company set it last season.
Auburn has 2 quarterback commits for the 2016 class, but why not add a third? Unless Jeremy Johnson makes giant strides in the off-season, he is not a likely candidate to be the guy in 2016. Sean White has looked very good at times as a passer, but he does not offer the home run threat that makes the Malzahn offense so potent. Tyler Queen is a total unknown.
If Auburn offered this young man, he would likely take it. He is as good as I have seen at quarterback around this area, which includes former greats like Jay Barker and Brandon Cox. If he doesn't pan out as a quarterback, he is athletic enough to switch to another position.
It's high time Auburn gets back to not being taken with how many stars a quarterback has and look at his body of work. Most around here believe that 6A is the best league in Alabama high school football, and much of that is due to teams like Clay Chalkville. Pigrome has dominated this classification of football for 2 years now.
Tommy Tuberville was recently heard saying Auburn and Alabama let the best quarterback (Hayden Moore) in the state get away to Cincinnati two years ago. Here's hoping we don't make that mistake again.