Tulane commit transferred to Deerfield Beach on Aug. 7.
DELRAY BEACH — Players are prone to looking elsewhere, whether it be at the high school or professional level, when they’re not getting enough playing time. That wasn’t what drove former Boca Raton High quarterback Michael Pratt’s decision to transfer, though.
Don’t get him wrong; competition is why Pratt left Boca Raton for Deerfield Beach earlier this month. But it was the idea of competing for the Bucks and earning his spot, rather than being the established quarterback at a rising Palm Beach County program, that had Pratt switching schools on the eve of his senior season.
"I wanted to go somewhere where there was another good quarterback," said Pratt, a Tulane commit, before Deerfield’s 12-10 loss to Atlantic High on Thursday night. "Where I’d have to go 110 percent each and every single practice, every rep. … Honestly, it’s played out really well."
An abductor injury kept Pratt on the sidelines Thursday night. He traveled with the Bucks and watched senior Derohn King — a Southern Miss commit — guide the Bucks’ offense.
Pratt hopes to return to the field in 2-3 weeks. That would put him on pace to return for the Bucks' Aug. 31 road game against St. John's College High School, a program in Washington, D.C.
Pratt said he wasn’t scared by the idea of entering a quarterback battle — or even being the backup in his senior year.
"This was a big step and my main purpose was to prepare for college," Pratt explained. "Once I get to college, there’s gonna be four or five other quarterbacks over there. I’m gonna have to learn how to beat whoever out."
Pratt announced he was transferring to Deerfield Beach on Aug. 7. The move, as well as choosing a program that already had an established quarterback, caught some by surprise.
Pratt completed 53 percent of his passes for 1,208 yards and 12 touchdowns at Boca Raton High last season. He also ran for 447 yards and three scores while leading the Bobcats to a 5-5 record.
Deerfield plays at Boca Raton on Sept. 27. Pratt did not discuss his feelings or expectations for that game.
Regardless of how much he plays in the next few months, Pratt will spend his senior season at one of South Florida’s top programs. MaxPreps considers Deerfield the 77th-best team in the nation and the 13th-best team in the state.
If Pratt sees the field, he’ll share it with one of the state’s top running backs: Jaylan Knighton, a 5-foot-9, 194-pound standout who pledged to Florida State last month. Pratt called Knighton, who 247 Sports ranks the country’s 98th-best player, a "hell of a player."
"When you have such a great running back and such great receivers, great o-line, you know you can really open up the game," Pratt said. "No matter what defense, what coverages the defense plays, they really can’t win.
"If you put seven in the box, we’re gonna throw the ball. If you open it up, we’re gonna run the ball and we’re gonna be effective either way."
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