By MYLO ERICKSON
In the locker room before a football game, players often get rowdy and pump themselves up for the battle that is about to commence.
In the Pima Community College locker room, one man focuses on something else.
Sophomore quarterback Quinn Rollerson keeps his headphones on, listening to an R&B station on Pandora. He focuses, calms himself and visualizes what he wants to happen in the game.
Rollerson started as a running back when he took up football in second grade in his hometown of Paris, Texas.
When he reached seventh grade, his coach decided try him at quarterback.
Rollerson continues to play quarterback because he enjoys having influence over each play.
“I like having the team on my shoulders,” he said.
The chance to play quarterback is part of the reason that Rollerson came to Pima.
He started his college career on scholarship at Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas. He was unable to further his education after his grades dipped.
“I was a hardheaded freshman athlete,” Rollerson said. “I wasn’t going to class my first semester, and had to transfer out my sophomore year because I dug myself into a hole I couldn’t get out of.”
Rollerson moved on to Tyler Junior College in Tyler, Texas. Coaches told him he had gained too much weight for the quarterback position and wanted to move him to tight end.
Since Rollerson was set on playing quarterback, the Tyler head athletic trainer contacted a trainer he knew at Pima.
After Rollerson talked with PCC head coach Pat Nugent and learned that the Aztecs needed quarterbacks, he headed west.
He is enjoying his time in Tucson but, as with most people, there is no place like home.
“Oh man, I’m not even going to lie about that. Yeah, I miss home a lot,” Rollerson said. “But it’s part of growing up, being on your own.”
Rollerson is the youngest of three children, and his mother checks on him regularly.
“I’m her baby,” he said.
Rollerson spends his free time hanging out with friends, checking out the latest horror movies and rooting for his favorite NFL team, the Houston Texans.
The only loss the Texans have suffered so far this season is to the team led by Rollerson’s favorite player, Aaron Rodgers.
“I love Aaron Rodgers,” Rollerson said. “He’s a mobile quarterback and I feel like I kinda play like him.”
Rollerson had his playing time cut recently in favor of another quarterback, but he hasn’t let it discourage him.
“Playing quarterback is a tough job,” Rollerson said. “It’s my role. I was made to play quarterback, so I’m going to keep trying.”
Rollerson still tries to be a sidelines leader while the coaches work to find a lineup combination that clicks.
“I always try to be the character on the team, the one that’s always in a good mood,” he said. “I try to keep everybody up.”
This is Rollerson’s last year playing for the Aztecs. After he earns an associate degree, he hopes to receive a scholarship to play for a university. He plans on majoring in either criminal justice or fashion.
As for the rest of this season, he’s hoping the Aztecs get a win in their final game. It will not be an easy task, as they will play a New Mexico Military Institute team with a 5-4 record.
“For the people that have been at the games and watching – don’t give up on us,” Rollerson said. “We’re still pushing, still fighting, and we’re not going to give up.”