Drive to play

Longhorns welcome new quarterback, junior Joseph Federer


Madi Michajliczenko

Clutching the ball on a quarterback run, junior Joseph Federer hustles on the field, attempting to score a touchdown. As a child, Federer grew up watching football. “An NFL player who inspires me is [quarterback] Kyler Murray. He is a very accurate quarterback and can also make tremendous plays with his feet,” Federer said.

According to junior Joseph Federer, leadership and fast thinking are two of the many traits of a successful quarterback. Since transferring from Marquette High School, the 5-foot-11 junior has thrown over 350 yards, scored touchdowns and ran around 100 yards. Keeping those traits in mind, the football team welcomes No. 8 to the field.

“What drives me to play football is [that] I’ve been watching it since I was a little kid. My parents finally let me play in fourth grade, and I fell in love with it ever since,” Federer said. “My brother played when he was in fifth grade. Watching him play made me want to play as well.”

Despite being new to the team, Federer has made connections with other players through their team dinners and meeting each other outside of the sport.

“One of the best parts about football is being out on the field and giving it your all with your teammates. I’ve built friendships very quickly on the team. The brotherhood is something I look forward to in the season and outside of football,” Federer said. “I love seeing [my teammates] work hard every practice and push themselves past their limits. That motivates me to go harder when I notice another teammate always pushing themselves to go farther.”

Standing on the sidelines with head coach Jeff Duncan, junior Joseph Federer holds his new Longhorn football helmet. Duncan met Federer over the summer through football camp. “You have to be a good decision-maker. [Federer has] proven to do that. [Federer] stays calm whether things are going well or bad and has a good demeanor about himself. He’s able to fit into our offense, be an accurate passer, be a good runner and just a good teammate for us,” Duncan said. (Dana Zafarani)

According to head football coach Jeff Duncan, who has coached over 200 students, Federer holds significant responsibility for the football team.

[Federer is] a natural leader, and a hard worker. When you have someone like that, it’s easy for other players to like him. He’s a tough kid. He’s a good runner and a good thrower and fits right into our team. There’s a lot of pressure that comes with [being the quarterback] and a lot of expectation. It’s been neat for me to watch him grow into that position,” Duncan said.  “[Federer] sees the big picture and realizes that whatever success he has is the team’s success.”

Duncan, and assistant coaches, have helped Federer fit into the program.

“I have a great relationship with Duncan. He’s a great mentor, and he’s making me a better quarterback. Any question I have for Duncan, he has an immediate answer, and he knows the game of football. Coach [Kevin] Wallace has helped me get comfortable with the offense by teaching me different plays,” Federer said. 

Off the field, Federer enjoys spending time with family and friends, being outside and playing video games such as Madden.

“Football has taught me to overcome adversity. In football, there are going to be bad plays. You just have to have a short-term memory and focus on the next play,” Federer said. “[During] one of our games, a lot of things were not going our way. If we had stayed negative, that wouldn’t have helped us get back into the game. As a team, we have to focus on what we can control and keep moving forward. My teammates have shown great resilience and determination. I’m looking forward to seeing what we can do this season.”