By LEE BRECHEEN, Louisiana Football Magazine/TV
There’s always a sleeper QB in just about every city every year and in 2023 I think the local one in Shreveport-Bossier will be Jeff King of Benton High School.
King waited behind a very productive three-year starter, Gray Walters, who put up video game numbers. But King was able to get starts because of a injury to Walters in Week 9 and played in the playoffs, showing what he can do for Benton High School.
Jeff is 6-1, 180 pounds with a really good arm. It’s exciting to see what he can do in his first full season as the team’s starting QB. Jeff is also one of the top javelin throwers in the state coming back next spring.
King hasn’t been taking snaps throughout his football career. He was a running back as a kid, a starting receiver and backup QB last season, and has a multi-sport background – the kind of experience that college coaches love.
“I started playing football at the age of 5 at Calvary Baptist Church. Although I’ve always been interested in playing QB, I played RB throughout elementary school leagues. I also started playing basketball and baseball at the age of 5 and continued through my freshman year of High School. I was also a member of the summer league swim team from ages 7-13.
“So far in high school, I played QB as a freshman and on the JV team and was backup QB my sophomore and junior years and became a starting WR in my junior year. I have always punted and played defense for Benton,” said King.
His track and field credentials are impressive, and he’s throwing far enough that it could become a factor for his college hopes. His best marks would already score points for most college teams.
“I also love track,” said King. “Our head track coach, Clint Barnes, talked me into throwing the javelin for my sophomore year. I figured why not? Although I had never picked up a javelin before, I earned district champ both my sophomore and junior years and was also All State in 2022. My longest throw is 194-10 and I hope to do over 200 feet next spring in my senior year.”
King likes to have fun. His personality has earned him quite the nickname.
“I am a kid at heart and some of the players thought it was hilarious that I told them I watched the movie Free Birds over the break,” he said. “So every time they would see me they would call me Free Bird and it kind of stuck.”
Unlike a lot of 2023 senior football players, King stayed home and kept his focus on the Tigers’ season – and having fun.
“I did not attend any camps this summer. We will see how my senior year plays out and what opportunities it brings,” he said.
He does have college plans, whether or not he’s playing football or throwing the javelin – or both — at the next level. And he has career plans of substance.
“After high school, I would like to attend college and major in business with a minor in psychology,” said King. “I plan on owning my own counseling business with an emphasis on mental health for athletes.”
But the future is now for King, who is a do-it-all guy at Benton High School.
“I think our team will do well this year. Although some may say this is a rebuilding year for us, we have the talent on our team that you don’t need to sleep on,” he said. “We also have awesome fans! I’ve been known to return the favor to our fans by putting on our Tiger mascot uniform at basketball games to hype the crowd up with a few dance moves and high fives from the refs.”
He hopes to produce high fives in the stands and on the sidelines this fall, and he has his faith to lean on.
“God’s timing is always perfect and I have faith it’s going to be the best year yet. Come what may I will give God all the glory and praise,” said King.
Contact Lee at email@example.com
Lee Brecheen has operated Louisiana Football Magazine for over 30 years and is one of the state’s foremost experts on high school football and especially recruiting. Based in Baton Rouge, Lee travels statewide to watch practices and games and has broken down film and tape since the late 1980s. He has converted the printed product to an online website (Lafootballmagazine.com) that will preview every high school and college football program in the state before kickoff this fall. Lee also hosts a football-centric TV show on YouTube, The Sports Scouting Report, on weekdays. He is currently in Shreveport-Bossier taping segments with local players and coaches.