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WAITING FOR A CHANCE

LOHS grad Jack Lomax is third in line for quarterback and is working hard to impress coaches
by: submitted photo Lomax starred as quarterback at Lake Oswego High School and is now third on the depth chart for Oregon State, behind Ryan Katz and Cody Vaz.

Jack Lomax is an experienced quarterback. During high school he led the Lake Oswego Lakers to the state championship game while racking up staggering stats. He's now playing his third year at Oregon State University, and is waiting patiently for his chance to step into the starter role.

Getting time to play is hard for Lomax, who is one of six quarterbacks. The list includes starter Ryan Katz and backup Cody Vaz, but given time, Lomax will see more action on the field. Until then, he will keep working hard.

'I have a lot of experience, but I just have to keep working,' Lomax said.

Lomax has football in his blood. His father, Neil Lomax, was a star performer for Portland State and went on to play professionally. He says his father taught him everything he knows about football - up to a certain point.

'My dad coached me when I was younger, up through middle school. In high school and now, he is more a father than a coach,' Lomax said.

Lomax's older brother, Nick Lomax, played with Boise State for two years before transferring to Linfield. Nick gave him some sound advice on what school to pick. He told him that he needed to feel comfortable with the campus since he was going to spend at least four years there.

'He said I should take advantage of the situation as it's presented to me,' Lomax said.

Lomax is doing just that. He may not be the starter for OSU, but that doesn't mean he's taking it easy.

'We work out every day, and I just got to keep working. I have a lot of time left here. It's been a slow start, but I'm getting a lot of experience,' he said.

That he is. At practice while Katz and Vaz are getting repetitions with the offense, Lomax watches from the sidelines. Occasionally, the coaches throw him in with the starters just to see how he handles himself.

After, Lomax breaks off with the backup quarterbacks to get repetitions with the third and fourth strings. He says it isn't only about reps, but it's about the experience he's gaining just by being around the coaches.

'Mike Riley is the best coach I have ever been around. I love all the coaches, and my teammates are helping me to get mentally ready,' Lomax said.

Standing 6 feet 2 inches and weighing 172 pounds, Lomax isn't the biggest guy to ever play. He attributes this to his father who had almost the same exact stats at this time in his career.

'I try not to compare myself to them, but I'd say I'm the most like my father, body-wise and personality-wise,' Lomax said.

Being a smaller quarterback means that Lomax needs to be creative. Focusing on being quick and smart is key to getting around the defense.

'Outsmarting the defense is everything. I need to be quicker, faster and smarter to get the ball into the hands of my receivers,' he said.

Right now he is third on the depth chart for OSU, behind Katz and Vaz. His goal is to gain weight and keep adding to his game knowledge, so that when the time comes, he will be first in line as a replacement.

'It's all about being physical. I'm focusing on gaining weight, so that when my time comes I can perform,' Lomax said.

In addition to his football responsibilities he's also a student in the new media major at OSU. He still has a while before he needs to decide on his future, all he knows is that he needs to focus on the present and make the best of every situation both on and off the field.

'All I need is to get put in the right situation, do something with it and make the best of it,' Lomax said.