Local product leads Hoover past Prattville in 7A title game
AUBURN – He had a night to remember, earning most valuable player honors in the first-ever Class 7A state championship game.
But if not for a few decisions regarding his older sister, Marcus Webb would have never had the chance to see the playing field.
Webb had played a little football at the Bell Road YMCA, but had no designs on a high school career. He was planning to go to either Brew Tech or Booker T. Washington Magnet, two programs that didn’t have a football team.
That was before his older sister Marqu’es won a state championship in girls basketball at Brew Tech and her coach, Kelvin Stokes, was fired after the season. Marcus’ mother went looking for another school for her children and settled on Hoover High.
“Honestly, I didn’t think I was going to play football in high school because I thought we were going to stay in Montgomery,” Webb said. “She didn’t want me to go to any public schools down there so I just thought I wasn’t going to play any football in high school.
“Then we moved to Hoover and I was like, yeah, I’m going to have a chance to play. When I first heard we were moving to Hoover, I went on the web sites and looked at Hoover and all the football accomplishments. I was thinking, this is going to be amazing.”
Webb capped his career at Hoover with his third consecutive state championship, rushing for 153 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries to earn MVP honors. His battery mate, Bradrick Shaw, had 101 yards and gets most of the attention because he has the size to play collegiate football but on Wednesday night it was Webb who stole the show.
“They’re the two most unselfish kids I’ve ever been around,” Hoover coach Josh Niblett said. “But they’re two of the biggest competitors I’ve ever been around, too. They push each other every day in practice. They want to try to outdo each other every day, but at the same time they respect each other so much. When you see one score, the other one is probably happier than the one who scored.”
Webb has good lineage for a football player. His grandfather, George Pugh, was a standout receiver at Robert E. Lee and the University of Alabama after starting his career as a freshman quarterback at Booker T. Washington in the final year of segregation in the Capital City.
His father Marcus was a standout football player at Sidney Lanier before deciding to concentrate on basketball, continuing his career on the court at Alabama and with the Boston Celtics.
“When I first came here, I did not play running back, I played safety,” Webb said. “When I moved to running back my ninth grade year, I was like, I can have a promising career at this position. I’m looking at myself now and I’m like, I’m glad I made that move, I’m glad my mom put me in this environment. To be here right now, I’m blessed.”
Webb has been getting some recruiting attention from Cincinnati and Vanderbilt, but hopes his MVP performance in the Bucaneers’ 35-21 win over Prattville on Wednesday will gain him a little more attention from college recruiters.
The championship was the first in Class 7A, which was added this year. From 1984-2013, there were six classifications and the two programs met five times over the previous 10 years for the 6A championship. Hoover, making its seventh consecutive championship game appearance, won its third straight title. The Buccaneers (12-2) haven’t lost to a team from the state of Alabama since losing to Prattville (11-3) 35-34 in the 2011 championship game.