LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) -- Henry Clay starting quarterback D.J. VanHorn went down with a season-ending ankle injury on October 12 of last season and from then on out, his Blue Devils had to adapt.
"Yeah it is important to be ready," said VanHorn. "You never know what is going to happen. It was a big improv season toward the end of the year."
"We especially D.J. was not happy with how things ended," said tight end Ashton Foos. "We didn't like how things ended last season either."
After D.J. went down, Ashton Foos filled in admirably, but the Blue Devils lost three of their last four games, including a second-round exit in the playoffs.
“When he went down last year, our execution went down, but he is working hard and he is getting other guys to work hard with him," said head coach Sam Simpson.
“I take it as a blessing that I got hurt because I learned so much from it and matured so much from it," said VanHorn.
That maturation should pay dividends this season with a healthy D.J. back under center. He's one of 21 seniors on a roster loaded with size and speed.
“We probably have more length in skill people than we ever had. We can line up in a 4-set and everybody is over 6-2," said Simpson.
“We got a lot of young guys, but a lot of young guys that can make plays," said VanHorn. "We lost speed and size at o-line, but I am faithful in all the guys we have this year.”