Photo: Brian Kamer North Gwinnett quarterback Scotty Hosch speaks during a National Signing Day Ceremony last month at the school. Hosch will be attending Harvard in the fall.
SUWANEE -- North Gwinnett football coach Bob Sphire has encouraged his son Hayden to spend every minute he can around Scotty Hosch.
You can't really blame Sphire, considering the impressive resume Hosch has developed.
The senior was a standout quarterback for the region champion Bulldogs last season. He was the epitome of a student-athlete, maintaining a 3.98 GPA. That combination helped Hosch land a scholarship with the prestigious Harvard University last month.
"I've got my son running around with him, going to workouts, doing whatever," Sphire said. "I want him around a guy like Scotty."
Since National Signing Day on Feb. 1, there's been a lot of running around for Hosch.
The 6-foot-3, 200-pound Hosch spends his afternoons working out with strength coach Ryan Goldin. It's the little reprieve he gets from a tough academic load.
Hosch could have taken the easy route, picking up some easy classes for his final semester of high school. Instead he added an advance placement course to an already tough schedule.
"I did that so I wouldn't fall into that trap," Hosch said.
Hosch's schedule features AP Government, AP Calculus C and AP Physics C. The last two are equivalent to a second-year college course. He also takes honors language arts, weight training and religious studies.
It's not your typical slacker senior schedule, but it's one Hosch wanted to pursue to prepare him for the rigors of Harvard this fall.
"The workload is going to be a lot, but nothing I can't handle," Hosch said.
Hosch's intelligence in the classroom coincided with his play on the football field. As a junior, Hosch saw significant action at quarterback, rotating with now Auburn freshman C.J. Uzomah.
Hosch took the reins as QB this year and flourished.
"It was huge because he made so many good decisions," Sphire said. "He understood the offense. I thought he made everyone around him better. He's a really bright kid."
Hosch led the Bulldogs to the Region 7-AAAAA title last season and a 10-2 record. He completed 68.1 percent of his passes for 2,371 yards and 20 touchdowns and had just six interceptions to earn all-county honors.
"Before the ball is snapped, few guys have the vision of what to do with the ball," Sphire said. "I think with him, he had a knack for that."
Hosch had several colleges interested in him, but couldn't turn down the opportunity to go to Harvard. He committed to the Crimson in December, but relied on one of his former teammates for advice. David Park, a former linebacker for North, is a sophomore at Ivy League rival Penn.
"Me and David have talked, especially during the recruiting process," Hosch said. "I leaned on him for a lot of information."
The biggest thing was how to balance the academics and football.
"I'm more concerned with the academics," Hosch said. "I've played football on a high level of competition. I'll be ready academically, but it will be a challenge."
Hosch will enroll at the Cambridge, Mass., school in the fall. He'll join another Gwinnett County senior, Collins Hill's Sam Batiste, who also signed with Harvard in February. Hosch will likely take a back seat to quarterback Colton Chapple, a Greater Atlanta Christian grad, who threw for 918 yards and 12 TDs last season as the starter. But it's a role he doesn't mind as he prepares to take on the Ivy League.
"Hopefully, I'll learn from him. I'm going to use that first year to get used to it," Hosch said. "It's a great opportunity in the classroom and on the football field."