Call it the dawn of the Kid Brother Quarterback Era in South Jersey football.
Or maybe it’s just another reminder that a new generation is perpetually prepared to take the field and grab the spotlight.
The last two seasons have marked the end of the careers of two of the most prolific passers in state history, as Devin Leary played his final game for Timber Creek in 2017 and Nick Kargman made his last throw for Woodrow Wilson in 2018.
But don’t forget those last names.
Donovan Leary, a freshman at Timber Creek, recently picked up four scholarship offers in a sign that college recruiters have faith in the next quarterback from that family. One of the offers was from Rutgers, a Big Ten program.
Devin Kargman, a freshman at Woodrow Wilson, recently picked up a scholarship offer from Rutgers as well.
The two young quarterbacks are poised to chase their older brothers’ passing records for the next three seasons.
“He’s going to break his brother’s records,” Woodrow Wilson coach Preston Brown said of Devin Kargman. “It’s going to happen.”
Nick Kargman, who signed with Western Michigan in December, passed for a state-record 3,963 yards last season in leading Woodrow Wilson to a 9-4 record and the South Jersey Group 3 title. Nick Kargman also set a state record for passing yards in a game with 539 and notched the South Jersey mark for touchdown passes in a game with eight.
Devin Kargman played sparingly as a freshman, completing 8 of 11 passes for 59 yards in mop-up duty in two games.
At 6-foot-2 and 180 pounds, Devin Kargman has many of the same traits as his older brother, according to Brown.
“He’s all business, always studying the game," Brown said. "He works at it. His anticipation skills, even now, are like Nick’s.
“He’s going to do some special things.”
Brown said the younger Kargman is more inclined to run than his older brother.
“I think we might be able to add some stuff to the offense to take advantage of that,” Brown said. “Nick could run when he needed to. Devin likes to run.”
Devin Kargman should have some top weapons on the receiving end of his passes next season, including senior-to-be Fadil Diggs, who recently committed to Texas A&M as a defensive end, and Amari Clark, who already has nine offers as a freshman from programs such as Florida, Baylor, Temple, West Virginia, Rutgers, and Pitt.
At Timber Creek, the torch was partially passed from one Leary brother to the other last season. But the 2019 campaign should mark Donovan Leary’s breakout season, according to Chargers coach Rob Hinson.
Devin Leary, a redshirt freshman who will compete this summer for the starting quarterback position at North Carolina State, set state records for career passing yards with 9,672 and career touchdowns with 105 during his time at Timber Creek.
Donovan Leary saw significant action last season as a freshman for the Chargers, passing for 960 yards and five touchdowns while splitting time at the quarterback position.
“He’s going to be special,” Hinson said. “He got some valuable experience last year playing a very tough schedule.”
Like his counterpart at Woodrow Wilson, Donovan Leary should benefit from some top athletes on the outside, including Tarheeb Still, who has 30-plus scholarship offers heading into his senior season, as well as freshman Jihaad Campbell, who recently picked up an offer from Rutgers.
“He’s a freak athlete,” Hinson said of Campbell, who didn’t play as a freshman while recovering from an injury.
Donovan Leary, who stands 6-2 and weighs 190 pounds, recently received offers from Rutgers, Temple, Massachusetts, and Central Michigan.
Hinson said Donovan Leary, like his brother, has a presence that rallies his teammates.