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November 10, 2008

Younger Favre sets Mississippi state record

MORE: Top 100 Football Teams | Top players in 2010? | Underclassman Combine dates set for 2009

Bay Saint Louis (Miss.) St. Stanislaus quarterback Dylan Favre, as he usually does on game day, received a text message from his famous uncle - superstar NFL signal-caller Brett Favre - the afternoon of his team's Oct. 31 regular-season finale.

"Good luck and do what you do," it read.

A few hours later, Dylan Favre etched his name into the record books by completing 23 of 35 passes for 358 yards and five touchdowns in a 42-27 Rock-A-Chaws win over Poplarville.

A 31-yard, fourth-quarter scoring strike to James Abraham gave Favre 43 TD passes this fall, which set the state's single-season record, surpassing the mark of 42 by North Panola's Clifton Davis III in 1990.

Many quarterbacks would have been thrilled by the achievement. While Favre, a two-year starter, was happy, his focus last week was not on the record but on an opening-round playoff game against Brookhaven.

"You know," the easy-going Favre said in his Southern drawl, "I haven't really thought about it that much. I told my dad the other day I'm not as excited about it as I thought I'd be."

Perhaps Favre feels that way because he knows bigger things may be in store down the road. According to most accounts, the 5-foot-10, 180-pound junior has the game to go along with the name.

"He's a pretty special athlete," St. Stanislaus coach Forrest Williams said.

Several colleges already have taken notice.

Williams does not believe Favre has any scholarship offers yet, but he said major college programs such as Ole Miss, Notre Dame, Southern Miss (where Brett and his father, Jeff Favre, played) and UCLA are among the schools that have written letters of interest.

"Somebody is going to get a heck of a quarterback," Williams said. "He definitely has touch. He's very mobile in the pocket. We can move the pocket or he can sit in the pocket and make any of the throws he wants to. He has a great arm, a good release, a lot of touch and good vision."

Sound familiar?

Much like his uncle, Favre is the type of player who can hurt an opponent with either his arm or his legs. And he also has tremendous improvisational skills. In last week's 42-27 first-round Class 4A playoff loss to Brookhaven, Favre passed for two touchdowns (giving him 45 for the season and 81 for his career) and ran for another - his eighth rushing score in 2008.

"He's athletic, and he's a competitor," Rivals.com Southeast Recruiting Analyst Barton Simmons said. "You can see a lot of his uncle in him in the way he improvises and the confidence he has in his arm."

For the record, Favre is no prima donna quarterback. When he's not taking snaps and completing passes, he's making hits as the Rock-A-Chaws' starting free safety.

"He just has a nose for the ball," Williams said. "On offense or defense, he wants to be around it. He takes a licking and keeps on ticking. And he'll stick you."

Favre also is an intelligent player, Williams said. The coach routinely allows him to change plays on his own at the line of scrimmage.

"He's probably the top player I've been around that understands the game," Williams said. "He's very game-savvy. (Dylan and Brett) are similar-type players, in terms of toughness and personality."

Because of his last name, comparisons to his uncle follow Favre around the clock. Few newspaper articles are written without mentioning Favre's bloodlines (his father, like Brett, played quarterback at Hancock North Central under their father, the late Irvin Favre). And the opposition usually is hungry to "knock me out," the low-key Favre said.

"Expectations," he said, "are high."

Thus far, though, Favre seems to have managed them rather well. And to his credit, he has remained modest and team-oriented.

"He knows where he comes from, and he's not affected by that," Williams said. "He's a pretty fun guy with a great sense of humor. He's always good with a joke, and his teammates like being around him. We don't treat him any differently than the other players. We get on him just like everyone else."

For that matter, so do Brett and his father.

"Be humble and work hard ... my dad and uncle are always on me about that," Favre said.

Keith Niebuhr covers high school sports for the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times.

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