Kennedy Wilkerson
ASU Student Journalist

Desert Vista quarterback finds a home

September 12, 2017 by Kennedy Wilkerson, Arizona State University



A year ago Derek Kline was the starting quarterback on a 2-7 team that predominately ran the ball. He completed his junior season in Reno, Nevada where he threw for only 665 yards and 11 touchdowns.


Just three games into his senior season, at Desert Vista High School, Kline has already thrown for 590 yards with 7 touchdown passes. He also is the team’s leading rusher; carrying the ball 29 times for 153 yards. It is easy to see he presents a dual threat on the field.


“Derek is very versatile as a quarterback,” said head coach Dan Hinds. “When he showed up we originally evaluated him as a pocket guy who would mostly throw, but he fits our offense perfectly. He is great at reading the field and he is a great rusher as well. I know the teams scouting us have to account for that. Derek has already been able to take advantage of teams with his dual abilities.”


From his performance on the field, it is evident Kline is already comfortable in his new surroundings. He has led the thunder to a 2-1 start.


“Even though this is my first year here, I feel like I have been with the team for a while now. Everyone made my transition awesome and I really think I am comfortable being a good leader for these guys,” Kline said.


Hinds noticed the immediate impact Kline made in team workouts last January.


“It was obvious from the start that team unity was important to him and he didn’t come in thinking it was all about him. This kid I’m telling you, he is all about the team. I know the other players could sense that too because Derek was accepted really quick,” Hinds said.


Standout wider receiver Jake White had nothing but praises for his teammate.


“It is a really a fun process to work with Derek. He such a good quarterback and he still has so much potential to take his game above that. It is an honor for me to be able to play with him and to be one of his go-to guys that he wants to get the ball to,” White said.


Kline not only demonstrates excellent abilities on the field, but is a dedicated, 4.2 grade point average, student in the classroom.


 “I value my education a lot as a student-athlete and excelling in that area is important to me. If I didn’t push myself in the classroom, I wouldn’t be able to go to these big schools that are recruiting me,” Kline said.


His ultimate goal is to play college football and it is obvious Kline has all the potential to take his game to the next level. With offers from San Diego State University, University of Idaho, Morehead State and Brown University, that goal will be easily achievable.


The objective now is to make the playoffs and then bring home a championship, but first Hinds and the Thunder have to take on Brophy College Prep under this week’s Friday Night Lights.