BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Class 2A All-State quarterback Jordan Loving of Riverside Academy says he's worn the No. 9 jersey since the fourth grade, so it's only fitting the Rebels' star was named a finalist for WAFB's Sportsline Player of the Year on the 39th birthday of his hero, Saints signal caller Drew Brees, on Monday.
After winning a state title in the Superdome last year as a junior, Loving followed with a standout senior season in 2017 for a 5-5 team, as four of those defeats came at the hands of teams that combined for a regular season record of 37-1. Loving threw 29 touchdown passes in 10 games with just seven interceptions and averaged 294 yards a game through the air.
"I just love Friday nights, just going out there competing with my friends," said Loving after learning of his selection. "You know, it's the time of your life playing high school football. My job is pretty easy. Just get those guys the ball and let them do their thing."
As a four-year starter, Loving capped a stellar career with a six-touchdown, 62-point performance in a playoff win over Dunham and added a 557-yard game with four TDs in a 38-34 loss to 5A Rummel during the regular season.
"Rummel's as successful and as respectful of a football program as there is in Louisiana," said RA head coach Chris Lachney. "For him to do what he did that night and make some of the decisions, that was the night I saw him make some 'WOW' big time throws. He's a guy who makes the people around him better and that's what you want from a quarterback. If he didn't throw one touchdown pass, he was still a tremendous contributor."
Even though Loving has produced plenty of victories and great moments for his Riverside teammates and supporters, he has yet to receive many recruiting offers, but said he remains very interested in a preferred walk-on slot at LSU and very confident he'll become a good quarterback in college.
"I'm a guy who's really confident in my abilities. I believe in myself, that wherever I decide to attend college, that I'll be successful. I'll get there. I'll work as hard as I can and be a great quarterback," insisted Loving.
And his high school coach echoed the message.
"I have a faith that he's going to get an opportunity to compete somewhere and once that happens, he's going to be the quarterback that we all know he is," said Lachney.
Loving is the fourth Riverside finalist in the 11 years of WAFB's Warrick Dunn Award, which will be presented again on the night of Monday, January 22. The last two winners of the Sportsline Player of the Year trophy with the likeness of the former Catholic High, Florida State, and NFL star have been quarterbacks Lindsey Scott Jr. of Zachary and Levi Lewis from Scotlandville.