Rivals Interview

Cardinal Gibbons quarterback Peyton Bender [1] (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) has been working on the finer points of his game this summer, including attending a leadership camp and receiving coaching by retired Miami Dolphin quarterback CHAD PENNINGTON.

“We worked primarily on making reads, and he helped me tweak my throwing motion. Instead of coming over the top with the ball, we focused on bringing my motion around my body. He called it ‘around the axis’ instead of ‘over the axis’. I think it helped me increase the power in my throwing motion.”

Bender, verbally committed to Washington St., told FlaVarsity that his team is focused on preparations for the 2013 season.


“We’re working out with Tony Sands, a speed trainer, and he’s helped us increase our speed quickness, and our summer weightlifting sessions have been pretty tough.”

Cardinal Gibbons will feature six future FBS prospects offensively: wideouts George Rushing [2] (verbally committed to Louisville [3]), Trevon Lee [4], Christian Blake [5], and offensive line prospects Kadeem Smith [6] and Eric Lenzen (committed to East Carolina [7]).

“I think our offense should be pretty exciting this year,” Bender said. “I have three great targets in Rushing, Lee, and Blake, all of which have big time offers.”

The 6-foot-2, 180 pound quarterback is embracing the expectations of the offense.

“I think it’s natural to have those expectations,” he said. “I’m expecting to score lots of points, but our first goal is to win the district, something we’ve been unable to do around here for awhile.”

Bender shared why he committed to Washington State [8], and why it was the best program for him.

“I think the program is on the rise and the offense is one I fit into very well. Cardinal Gibbons runs basically the same scheme, so I’m comfortable already in the system,” he said. “When I visited, I really enjoyed campus and the new facilities. I got a good feel for the program and decided to commit.”

The rising senior quarterback said inside receivers coach David Yost speaks with him most often.

“He just checks up on me to see how thing are going, nothing major. I’ve also spoken with head coach Mike Leach [9] a few times.”

After arriving in Pullman, Bender said he plans to take a season to learn the nuances of Leach’s scheme.

“I’m expecting to redshirt. My redshirt freshman year I expect to be competing for the starting job.”

Bender spoke about what he feels will be the biggest challenge when transitioning from playing high school football to college football.

“First and foremost, I think it will be the overall speed of the game. The depth and complexity of the playbook will also be something new to handle.”

Gibbons’ quarterback reports that Penn State [10], Arkansas [11], East Carolina [7], West Virginia [12], and Marshall [13] all showed interest in the spring, but that recently they’ve backed off in their recruitment of him.

“My commitment is 100% solid, I haven’t thought about any other program. I can’t wait to get to Washington State.” – See more at: http://flavarsity.rivals.com/content.asp?CID=1524185#sthash.gESoeYQi.dpuf [14]

Michael Bradley

FlaVarsity.com [15] Football Analyst FlaVarsity.com [15] Co-Founder/Senior Editor Varsity Preps [16] Publisher Deep South Recruiting [17]

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