Written by Ryan Wright
When offensive coordinators have scoured the country looking for a dual-threat to run their collegiate offense, many have missed out on TJ Urban… so far. The 6-1, 190-pound, athlete has ripped apart Nebraska defenses over the past two seasons throwing for a total of 2,737 yards with 28 touchdowns while rushing for 2,775 with 29 scores. After hearing the rising Class of 2021 talent talk about his offseason workouts, one gets the idea that a showcase season is ahead for Urban and his Patriots squad.
Watching the offense for Millard South High School, Urban has developed his game into that talent who can get the yards needed to keep a drive alive or put the ball into the end zone for the win. He used his 4.6 speed in the 40 during his sophomore season for 1,490 yards on the ground with 16 touchdowns and placed the ball all over the field for 1,850 yards in the passing attack seeing receivers 18 times find the end zone. The Patriots posted a 9-3 season in 2018 with their star quarterback rushing for 1,285 yards and 13 touchdowns while passing for 887 and 10 more touchdowns.
The offseason for Urban has been filled with fine-tuning his game on his own time and at college camps picking up extra instruction while showcasing his skills. The three-star recruit is receiving interest from teams like Iowa State, Kansas State, and Notre Dame ahead of a big senior season.
In an RNG exclusive interview partnered with QB Hit List, I sat down with Urban covering his multiple talents on the field with a preview of the Patriots season opener against Gretna.
TJ, over the last two seasons you have sliced apart the competition with your arm and your legs. When the 2018 season had ended, what did you feel were the strengths to your game as a passing quarterback?
“As a passing quarterback, I felt like I was good with shorter routes, not as strong on the long ones. I was very accurate with the short game. A strength to my game was my check downs working against the outside linebacker checking to a hitch to spread them out more.”
What do you feel are the strengths to your game as a running QB?
“That is a strength of my game. I was fast last year; I am faster this year. That will be a big difference in my game this season. The shoelace tackles guys were getting on me last year will be touchdowns this year.”
What have you worked on with your game this spring and summer?
“We have been working on the throwing aspect of my game. I have been working on throwing deeper balls, my check downs, and reading defenses.”
Which areas of your game are you ready to showcase when the 2019 season kicks off?
“Our RPO. We just put that in; that will be deadly this season.”
Did you compete at any college camps this summer?
“I did. I went to Iowa State, Notre Dame, South Dakota, Nebraska, and Northern Iowa.”
Which camp performance was your personal best?
“My best was probably the Northern Iowa camp. I did well there.”
After all the camps attended, what were some of the things you learned that will help you this season?
“I learned to be more verbal with my leadership. I learned that it is important to win a state championship. The coaches said that takes care of a lot of things.”
Which schools are showing recruiting interest in you entering the season?
“Iowa State, Notre Dame, Colorado State, Kansas State, Oklahoma State, and Marshall are all showing interest.”
Silly question of the day. You guys kick the season off on Friday against Gretna, are you pumped?
How is the team looking overall?
“We are looking pretty good. As a team, we are better than last year. We have a lot of hard-working guys on the team this year.”
What kind of game are you expecting from the Dragons on Friday?
“We are looking at 4-4 defense. We will pass quite a bit. It will be a competitive game.”
What goals have you set for your junior season?
“Our coach and all of us sat down to go over our goals. The goal for me is 2,000 yard-plus passing and me running for 1,000-plus yards this season.”
TJ, thanks for your time today. Good luck with the upcoming season.
Photo credit: trendsmap.com; No. 2 TJ Urban in the pocket (2018)
Photo credit: Urban family; TJ Urban