Even though Woodbridge High School's Derrick Odum made an outstanding debut as a starting varsity quarterback on Friday, no one is about to mistake him for a major college quarterback.
Well, almost no one.
"I went to a USC practice last August, and this alum kept looking at me," Odum said. "When I asked him why he was staring, he asked if I was Rodney Peete or his brother. He said I looked just like him."
Odum, The Times' player of the week, recalled that incident on Friday. With starting quarterback Fred Schweer out with a bruised kidney, Odum was told Friday morning that he would start that night against Paso Robles in a Desert-Mountain Conference playoff game.
At stake was a spot in the semifinals. So, Odum, a USC fan, remembered Peete's outstanding game in leading USC to a Rose Bowl berth against UCLA a week earlier.
Said Odum: "I started thinking of the USC-UCLA game and what Peete did in that game."
Peete completed 23 of 34 passes for 304 yards and 2 touchdowns as USC won, 17-13.
Odum, who normally starts at wide receiver, completed 10 of 14 passes for 220 yards, rushed for 45 yards and scored 2 touchdowns to lead the Warriors to a 33-25 victory.
Not bad for a guy who started the season as the No. 3 quarterback.
"I'm sure there are a lot of teams that would like to have a third-string quarterback like Derrick," Woodbridge Coach Gene Noji said. "Derrick actually added things to our offense, like the option. He has great wheels."
It's not the first time that Odum has been asked to fill in at quarterback. As a sophomore, he replaced Eric Brougher, who had been called up to the varsity. At the time, the Warriors' sophomore team was 6-0.
Woodbridge finished 10-0.
"We hated to bring Brougher up, because we didn't want to break up a winning combination," Noji said. "But Derrick stepped in and did the job."
Odum's time as a quarterback has been limited since his sophomore season. Brougher was the starter in 1986 and for the first three games this season. Schweer stepped in when Brougher broke a leg in the third game.
Still, Odum has kept his hand in. He played a couple of series at quarterback against Orange and has thrown three touchdown passes on flanker reverse plays.
"He hasn't thrown an incompletion on that play yet," Noji said.
Said Odum: "Three for three and three touchdowns."
A percentage that not even Rodney Peete could match.
Position: quarterback / defensive back.
Height, Weight, Class: 6-0, 170, Sr.
Last Week: Odum completed 10 of 14 passes for 220 yards, rushed 45 yards and ran for 2 touchdowns in the Warriors' 33-25 victory over Paso Robles in the Desert-Mountain Conference quarterfinals.