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Football Player of the Week: Gainesville quarterback Tre' Luttrell
Red Elephants' signal caller steered win against eighth-ranked Winder-Barrow on Friday
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Gainesville High quarterback Tre' Luttrell (3) throws the ball during the game between Gainesville High and West Hall in Gainesville, on Friday. - photo by David Barnes

Gainesville High quarterback Tre’ Luttrell states he’s always played the ‘yes, sir’ position. The coach tells Luttrell where to play, and he’ll happily oblige. His adaptability to any position on the field is one of many things he can chat at length about with his father, Stan, who is the first-year defensive coordinator of the Red Elephants. 

“I really enjoy getting to play quarterback,” said Luttrell, who first admired the position at age 6 when his father became head coach at Chestatee. “But I really just want to play and help the team any way I can.”

When Tre’ joined the Gainesville program after the 2017 school year at Buford was complete, Red Elephants coach Bruce Miller asked his new player if he could play quarterback. 

Luttrell instinctively said ‘yes, sir.’

Except for missing two full games with a separated shoulder earlier in the year, Luttrell has fit right in to his home as Gainesville’s signal caller.

On Friday, Luttrell, a junior, threw for 254 yards and a touchdown, while rushing for 111 yards and two more scores for the Red Elephants (3-5, 2-1 Region 8-6A) in a 38-16 win against No. 8 Winder-Barrow on Friday. For his efforts, Luttrell is The Times’ Football Player of the Week.

“That was Tre’s best game of the season,” Miller said. “He made excellent decisions with the ball: When to throw it; when not to throw it.”

Luttrell is confident in his physical talent and decision-making abilities, even though it is his first year starting at quarterback. Part of that comes from the grooming he received the past two years at Buford, where he was also a part-time starter at linebacker and backup wide receiver. He recalls lining up at numerous other spots on the field since first playing organized football at age 10 with the Chestatee Junior War Eagles.

Miller said one of Luttrell’s best moments against Winder-Barrow was the touch he put on a pass to Tyriq Kabir for 35 yards and a third-down completion. It came only a couple plays after Luttrell had the same pass route broken up by a defender, facing a same defensive look. 

Luttrell was also quick to get to ball to a wide-open Tre Blackwell in the back of the end zone for a touchdown. 

The Gainesville quarterback said his experience at linebacker, where he started a few games in 2016 for Buford, helps in understanding defensive schemes more astutely.

The Red Elephants’ quarterback said even after practice, he’ll be engaged in conversation with his father on the ride home from school about different things that have happened in practice and things to work on. 

“The conversations I have with my dad are priceless,” Luttrell said.

Luttrell said his competitive instinct has made the transition to playing quarterback on a full-time basis easier to handle.

“I think my family is the most competitive family in the world,” said Luttrell, who is the oldest of five siblings. “It could be a board game, you name it.” 

He said his four younger siblings all have their individual area where they strive for perfection in extra-curricular activities. 

Luttrell feels like his team is now getting into a good rhythm with two games left to play and a strong contender for the postseason. 

He hurt his shoulder on the final play of the first half against Alpharetta on Aug. 25. He sat the following week with the injury to his non-throwing shoulder against Clarke Central. Then following consecutive bye weeks, Luttrell wasn’t on the field against Jefferson, except for one play.

“I hated having to go five weeks without beings able to practice,” Luttrell said.

Currently, the Red Elephants are in a three-way tie for second play in the region. A win against Apalachee on Friday would assure Gainesville it will make the playoffs for the 18th straight season.

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