Allen’s quarterback looked eerily familiar last Friday night.
No, Kyler Murray — arguably the greatest quarterback in Texas high school football history — didn’t sneak into his old uniform.
This was the Grant Tisdale show.
The junior signal-caller ripped a page out of the Murray playbook as he made eye-popping plays with both his legs and his arm in Allen’s bi-district win over Hebron.
“I’m trying to chase Kyler, the legend himself,” Tisdale said. “I’m trying to go out the way he did. But I have to be myself in all of this. I have to stick to what I do best, be myself and do whatever it takes to win.”
So who is Tisdale?
Despite never starting a varsity football game, Tisdale was heralded as an elite dual-threat quarterback from an early age. In fact, he picked up his first offer from Southern Methodist University back in October of 2015 when he was a freshman.
Ironically, Tisdale is another protégé of nationally acclaimed quarterback guru Kevin Murray, who broke a number of records during his time at Texas A&M in the 80s and happens to be the father of the aforementioned Kyler Murray.
“I love Grant’s upside,” Kevin Murray said. “He’s a very coachable kid with a burning desire to be great.”
That burning desire was hard to stop last season. Tisdale was talented enough to start, but instead, he sat and learned behind Brown signee Mitchell Jonke. When he did get on the field, Tisdale made the most of it.
After years of waiting for his moment, Tisdale has finally cemented himself as the full-time starter at Allen and one of the state’s rising stars.
Through 11 games, Tisdale has passed for 1,615 yards and 23 touchdowns with just three interceptions and has rushed for another 791 yards and 10 touchdowns despite usually only playing for about two and half quarters — Allen has been ahead in most of its games by wide margins.
“I feel like I’m getting better each and every game,” Tisdale said. “I’m maturing as a quarterback with the help of my teammates. I feel like I’m just getting more comfortable.”
Allen coach Terry Gambill echoed those sentiments.
“He’s gotten better every week,” Gambill said. “Just like our football team. He really has.”
Through his work with Murray and progress under Gambill at Allen, Tisdale has developed into one of the most mechanically sound high school quarterbacks in recent memory. Tisdale is almost like a robot in the pocket — his throwing motion and release are almost always perfect.
Tisdale also happens to be a tremendous athlete more than capable of making the big play with his legs. Still, he always remains pass-first even when he’s eluding pressure.
“My coaches always told me when I scramble to keep my eyes downfield,” Tisdale said. “Instead of using my feet, I just need to keep my eyes on my receivers and get that extra big play that we need.”
Tisdale’s unique skill set has made him a national recruit. He currently holds offers from Baylor, Mississippi State, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Texas Tech and a handful of other major programs.
But his current focus is on the field. And Tisdale is coming off arguably his best game of the season.
In the victory over Hebron, Tisdale completed 11-of-15 passes for 186 yards and rushed for 142 yards with five total touchdowns.
“Grant played really well,” Gambill said. “He probably had his best game tonight. He managed the game well. He extended plays. He hit an open receiver. Like I said, it was probably his best football game.”
Next up for Tisdale and Allen is a match with South Grand Prairie in the area round of the playoffs on Friday afternoon at AT&T Stadium. South Grand Prairie has a tenacious defense led by TCU safety commit Atanza Vongor.
Tisdale, however, is up for the challenge.
“I’m at my best when the pressure is on,” Tisdale said. “The bigger the lights the bigger I play. The playoffs are where big-time players make big-time plays. That’s how you define me.”
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