Quarterback Profile: Dean Rotger & Ted Hefter

Dean Rotger (left) and Ted Hefter (right) are two Redshirt Freshmen that find themselves in the middle of a QB battle this offseason. [photo via Jim Agnew, tribeathletics.com]
It’s that wonderful time of year again! The thick Virginia humidity is beginning to rear its ugly head, mosquito bites are exponentially increasing, and we’re already busy guessing who will start under center for your William & Mary Tribe this coming fall. Because it’s never too early to be talking Tribe football, we’ve decided to profile each and every one of the contenders for this year’s starting quarterback gig.

With multi-year starter Steve Cluley graduating this past year, offensive-minded Head Coach Jimmye Laycock and first-year Offensive Coordinator D.J. Mangas have a big summer ahead of them. If this year’s Spring Game were any indication, there won’t be many running plays called during summer training camp — as the coaches look to separate the men from the boys under center. To start us off, we’ll give you a two-for-one special: redshirt freshmen Dean Rotger and Ted Hefter. Let’s get started.

Dean Rotger

Dean Rotger [photo via tribeathletics.com]
Quick Hits

  • Height: 6’0″
  • Weight: 200
  • Class: Redshirt Freshman
  • High School: Our Lady of Lourdes (Poughkeepsie, NY)
  • Number: #18
  • Twitter Account: @DeanRotger11

High School Accolades

Dean came to the Tribe via Poughkeepsie, NY, after destroying records in high school at Our Lady of Lourdes. While there, he was a four-year letterwinner, setting records for career passing yards (6,827) and touchdowns (83). He also finished his career with 1,216 rushing yards — flashing true dual-threat abilities. All of these individual accolades did not go unnoticed, as he was named a two-time team captain en route to leading his team to four conference championships and a state title. Oh, and he was also a three-time all-state selection. And did we forget to mention that he set the single-season mark for passing yards (3,029)? He also dabbled in high school basketball, finishing as a three-year letterwinner and two-time team captain in basketball as a point guard. Wow. You’d be hard-pressed to find a more accomplished high school athlete than Rotger.

And to sweeten the deal further, he was named a member of the National Honor Society, National Society of High School Scholars, and Dean’s List…get it, Dean’s List? Sorry, had to do it. Overall, Dean is the perfect fit for W&M both on the field and off of it. He has what it takes to excel both in the huddle and in the classroom, and it comes as no surprise that he landed in the ‘Burg.

This Year’s Spring Game and W&M Outlook

At this year’s Spring Game, largely seen as the first round of QB tryouts, Rotger finished 2 of 6 for 12 yards and 0 TDs. Multiple penalties hampered the drives that Rotger was a part of, as much of this was beyond his control. These penalties stunted drives that otherwise could have allowed him to produce much more. And while the Spring Game may have been a disappointment for Dean, we know how much talent he possesses.

Odds of Starting: Medium

Rotger finished last year as the Scout Team Offensive Player of the Year, meaning that the coaches know how much potential he has. Given more reps this summer, don’t be surprised if Rotger shoots up the boards to become the starting QB heading into the season opener at UVA.

Ted Hefter

Ted Hefter

Quick Hits

  • Height: 6’0″
  • Weight: 195
  • Class: Redshirt Freshman
  • High School: Sidwell Friends (Washington, D.C.)
  • Number: #7
  • Twitter Account: @QBtedhefter

High School Accolades

Ted, much like Dean, was an incredibly accomplished high school athlete. A “local” kid, he was a four-year letterwinner at quarterback for the Sidwell Friends School in Washington, D.C. where he set schools records for career passing yards (7,451), touchdowns (80 passing, 5 rushing), and completion percentage (68%). He also posted single-season school records for touchdowns (with 30) and passing yards (2,869). He was a two-time all-conference selection en route to earning two Washington Post All-Met Honorable Mentions.

And much like Rotger (we’re sensing a common theme among W&M QBs), he was a dual-sport athlete, lettering in baseball as a third baseman. Hefter was also a member of the Community Service Club at Sidwell Friends.

This Year’s Spring Game and W&M Outlook

To say that Hefter was one of the shining stars during this year’s Spring Game would be an understatement. He was the shining star, finishing 10 of 13 for 132 yards and 2 TDs. Ted was decisive on his reads, boasted a solid command of the offense, and found a serious running mate in fellow redshirt freshman TE Josh Stallings, who hauled in both of Ted’s touchdown passes. The only knock we could potentially find on Hefter is that many of his snaps came against backup defensive units. But even still, what more could you ask of him? He can’t control the snaps he was given — only the coaches can do that. And even when put up against players on the #1 defensive unit, he still shined.

Odds of Starting: Low

Hefter has come a long way from the time that he knocked on the coach’s door, earning himself a walk on spot. We love his story, and love his game on the field even more. We’re rooting for him and look forward to what he can potentially do for this team in the future — but for now, we deem him a darkhorse candidate to win the starting job.

Wrap Up

These two QBs show just how much talent Laycock and Mangas will be working with this offseason. But wait, there’s more! Over the coming weeks, we’ll profile the rest of the contenders, including Brandon BattleTommy McKee, and Shon Mitchell. Which QB are you rooting for? Stay tuned, and LET’S GO TRIBE!!!

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