By ROY LANG III, Journal Sports
Although he played in the previous millennium, Calvary Baptist quarterback Landry Lyddy knows all about Brock Berlin.
“That’s a pretty big name,” Lyddy, a Louisiana Tech signee, said of the former Evangel superstar.
Friday, when Landry learned he joined an exclusive club with Berlin, the excitement was obvious.
“I just have to praise the Lord. Awesome,” said Lyddy, who became the first player from Northwest Louisiana to earn the LSWA’s Mr. Football, the most prestigious honor in the state, since Berlin in 1999. “That’s a long time – ‘99 until now.”
After capturing Mr. Football, Berlin combined to win two BCS games with the University of Florida and the University of Miami and made a start in the NFL for the St. Louis Rams.
He happens to be a good friend of Lyddy’s father, Eric, and a fan of the player who led the Cavaliers to a state championship in 2020 and the state semifinals this season.
“Landry has all the intangibles that make a great quarterback. He has had an incredible career at Calvary and is going to do big things at Louisiana Tech,” Berlin told the Journal, who owns the all-time area passing records for yards (13,902) and touchdowns (145). “He has a natural presence on the football field and great understanding of the game. He has a big arm, quick feet, and he aggressively takes what the defense gives him. He is well deserving of the Mr. Football.”
Lyddy’s numbers are simply gaudy.
In just two full seasons, Landry compiled 8,284 passing yards and 100 touchdowns. This season, the senior tossed 53 scores, completed 73 percent of his passes (232 of 317) and amassed 4,247 yards.
Clearly, Lyddy, nicknamed “Candy Man,” for his affinity for gifting Starbursts, is a special talent. However, those numbers aren’t simply a product of God-given ability.
“His attention to detail – he studied film hour after hour, every day,” Calvary head coach Rodney Guin told the Journal. “He knew what we were doing and what we were looking for.”
Lyddy acknowledges and embraces the work he puts in, but says the approach is simply second nature.
“My dad and mom are really hard workers,” he said. “It’s kind of a thing in the Lyddy house.”
The work ethic rubbed off on a large group of impressionable youngsters in the Cavaliers’ locker room.
“We had a bunch of sophomores playing this year. They picked up a lot from him as far as the time you have to spend off the field doing stuff,” said Guin, who coached former Haughton and current Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott in high school.
It’s reasons like those Guin was willing to stick his neck out for Lyddy in last year’s Division I state championship game. Despite a commanding lead late, Guin kept Lyddy on the field and called an extra passing play, knowing the blossoming Cavalier was near the all-time title game passing mark.
“I wouldn’t typically be throwing the ball that far ahead with just a few minutes to go,” Guin said. “But for a guy that works as hard as he did with a chance to break the state record – seeing him come off the field with that big smile, it was well worth throwing it when I really didn’t want to.”
Does Lyddy appreciate the gesture? Did he even notice? Right down to every darn detail.
“I remember the exact throw,” Lyddy said. “We were three yards away and I threw a five-yard out route to Jordan Wallace. I remember coming off the field and hugging all the coaches. It was a good moment.
“I will absolutely cherish that.”
Lyddy finished 26 of 36 for 464 yards in Calvary’s 62-41 victory against Ouachita Christian.
As the 6-foot, 195-pounder eyes the next step, a career in Ruston that begins in March, he’s not resting on Mr. Football, the state’s Class 1A Player of the Year or the mountain of impressive statistics he’s compiled in a short period of time.
His current focus: Speed.
“I feel like I don’t need to run a 4.4, but we’re shooting for the high 4.4s – just to run 15 yards and slide,” said Lyddy, who currently can run the 40 in a tick under 5 seconds.
He doesn’t have a team of trainers or an entourage as he aims for that magical speed number.
“It’s just me,” Lyddy said. “I’m in the weight room and on the field trying to get faster.”
That’s why you can now call him Mr. Football.
Photo: by Kelly Young