Norman High football: QB Cade Horton returns to football field with big aspirations

Joe Buettner / The Transcript Norman High quarterback Cade Horton scrambles out of the pocket to find an open receiver during a practice on Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2019, at Harve Collins Field.

Cade Horton found a pocket of downtime during his recent trip to San Diego, California.

The Norman High senior was in town on business for the Perfect Game All-American Classic, which pits the best high school baseball prospects against each other at Petco Park.

His travels forced him to miss NHS’ first fall football practice on Monday. Although, NHS coach Rocky Martin was more than OK with his starting quarterback’s absence.

“I'm never worried about his work ethic,” Martin said of Horton, who singled in the all-star game on Sunday.

“I know how he works when he's here and when he's away.”

Horton lived up to his coach’s expectations by using some of his free time in southern California to study game video from the previous season.

It was well worth it for the quarterback, who’s actively worked to improve his reads this offseason and wants to build off last year’s first-round exit.

Horton says it felt good to return to Harve Collins Field on Tuesday for his fall camp debut.

Changing gears shouldn’t be an issue for the OU football and baseball commit. He’s been doing it most of the spring and summer.

Horton is ready to show his growth as a quarterback, however, after taking NHS to the Class 6A-I state playoffs a year ago.

“I think it was good for us to get to the playoffs last year and get exposed to that type of play,” said Horton of NHS’ 31-28 season-ending loss to Owasso. “It really was a learning experience for the future, for this year. So, I think it was good to get in there and get a little taste, but looking forward, it's gonna be a lot better this year.”

The Class 6A-I playoffs felt much bigger than any other game Horton’s played in but his team should have the tools for another state run, especially with a veteran offensive line.

“It's a quarterback's dream to be behind that type of line,” Horton said. “I know I'm biased but I would say they're one of the best offensive lines in the state. But it's amazing … everyone on that line is big and physical.”

He’ll also be able to lean on senior running back Joe Willie, plus a loaded wide receiver group that features senior receiver Andrew Young.

“We're super deep in our wide receiver group,” Horton said. “That's one of our deeper groups. It's ridiculous how good they are.”

NHS still has plenty of work ahead of itself.

Horton is driven, however, to put NHS back in position to be successful. And it starts with a solid fall camp, where he’ll be able to devote his time after enjoying the opportunity to play at a Major League Baseball stadium.

“I just want to win every day, and continue progressing,” Horton said. “And if we continue doing that, everything we want will come. But we just got to take it one day at a time and get better and keep working.”