West Set To Fill Lofty Shoes At Eastern - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

West Set To Fill Lofty Shoes At Eastern

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Jordan West has been taking the first team snaps during Eastern's early Spring practices. Jordan West has been taking the first team snaps during Eastern's early Spring practices.
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It was a rainy Monday in Cheney back in February when Vernon Adams texted his backup quarterback, sophomore Jordan West, to let him know Adams was transferring to Oregon.

West's first response to Adams was congratulatory. His second response was a whole new mindset.

"When he told me it was like, 'alright well it's my time,'" West recalled.

"I was with Jordan when he actually got the text from Vernon," said Zach Wimberly, a tight end for EWU and West's roommate. "He kind of went into his room for probably 45 minutes or so, took some time to just take it in. Ever since that day I've just seen such a different change in his mindset."

West's new mindset came with a new leadership role at Eastern. The 6-4, 220-lb. quarterback hasn't been named the Eagles' starter, but he is taking snaps with the first team throughout spring practice.

"When Vernon's here, as the second string quarterback you don't want to be the guy trying to hype people up and get people going, because you let that be the number one guy's job," West said. "Obviously I've tried to come more into that by trying to be a leader in the weight room, on and off the field, in meeting rooms, answering questions, and just trying to get people going before practice."

In the months since West has taken over his new role, his teammates have already seen changes in him.

"He's put in the extra work in the offseason," said sophomore wide receiver Cooper Kupp, the Eagles leading receiver in 2014. "No one has seen that yet, but I think through spring you'll see it. I've already seen it, but we'll just continue to see the work he's put in and how he's progressed."

Late last season when Adams was injured, West stepped into Adams' shoes and started four games for the Eagles. He threw for more than 1000 yards, with eight touchdowns and one interception in those four starts. More importantly, Eastern went 3-1 in those games.

"There is no one on this team that doubts for a second that he has what it takes to carry this," Kupp said of the belief the Eagles have in West as their quarterback.

"I think he was made for this," added Wimberly. "You can ask any of these guys in this locker room, I think they would all say the same thing. One of our o-lineman made a shirt that says 'In Weezy We Trust,' because his nickname is Weezy."

It's not clear where or when West got the nickname Weezy, but it is clear where the team's confidence in him comes from. It can be traced back those four games in 2014.

"Everything happens for a reason," Kupp said. "He came in last year at a time when we needed him and he played awesome, played a great four games for us. I think that's huge coming into this year, having that playing experience already."

"He's going to be able to be a lot calmer and know that he's been in those situations and learned a lot from those four games," EWU quarterbacks coach Zak Hill said. "In the offseason he's able to go back and look through all the games, but look through those four games and see what he needs to work on."

Those four games didn't just give the team more confidence in West, they made him more confident in his own abilities on the field. He says the game slowed down significantly for him over the course of that month.

"If I wouldn't have started those first games I'd be even more nervous going into Oregon," West said. "I mean there's obviously going to be those nerves, but it helps a lot having played in those four games and having started those four games because you've played before, you've got to think about that."

A couple of months ago, Vernon Adams texted Jordan West to let him know it was now West's time at Eastern.

If all goes according to plan, less than five months from now those two quarterbacks could be leading their teams onto the field at Autzen stadium; Big Play VA and his Ducks against Weezy and his trusting team of Eagles.

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