Last season, 2014 Calvert Hall (Towson, Md.) quarterback Colar Kuhns watched the Cardinals rack up a 11-2 record. Usually, that's considered a very good year in most circumstances, but those two losses are all he really remembers because they came from the same opponent, the Gilman Greyhounds.
Gilman (ranked 34th nationally by MaxPreps.com) first defeated the Cardinals 28-21 at Calvert Hall, and then six weeks later pulled out a 34-32 victory at Johnny Unitas Stadium on Towson University’s campus.
Two defeats by a combined nine points is hard to take, but the painful memories of both nights have driven the 6-foot-2, 200-pound prospect to work harder than ever.
“Last year we went to the conference championship game where we lost to Gilman by two points in double overtime,” said Kuhns reminiscing. “Throughout the whole year we were competitive and prove that we could play with anyone, but we came up short against Gilman.
“This year, I solely believe that our success is going to be based on how I play. I have to go out there and play four solid quarters and can’t be slacking off. I have to be a leader during games, at practice and during every little thing to help lead this team to be best it can be.
“I’m looking forward to taking more a leadership position at Calvert Hall this year.”
After that night in November, with the conference championship just out of his reach, Kuhns took a couple weeks to analyze everything that just happened. He then decided to hit the ground running towards 2012 and never looked back again.
“I know from December until June I was working out five days-a-week or more,” he claimed. “That wasn’t only in the weight room either, but that was also quarterback training. I've been working very hard this off-season, so that when it came time for camps this summer, I would be ready to compete. This year I believe I've prepared myself very well and have myself in a good position to be able to succeed.”
Proving himself to these college coaches is exactly what he's been doing, most recently in camps at Cincinnati, Ohio State and Notre Dame especially.
“Before I play in a 7-on-7 tournament, combine, camp or whatever, it seems I need a lot of warming up,” admitted Kuhns. “Once I get going though, I seem to thrive against good competition and I perform my best under pressure. Competition gets my juices flowing and pushes me to get better.”
During his visit to Notre Dame this Spring, the Maryland quarterback was able to tour the campus and was awestruck. To him everything seemed perfect and the feeling he had there was magical, but his favorite thing about the whole experience was speaking to the man that would be recruiting him, Notre Dame's tight end coach Scott Booker.
“I like coach Booker a lot,” said the excited 2014 prospect. “The first time I met him I found him relatable and he reminds me of all my coaches here at Calvert Hall. He's highly enthusiastic and when I talked to him, I could feel his energy. I can tell he has a passion for football and representing Notre Dame.”
What about the Irish?
“I really like Notre Dame and it's not only because my relative Johnny Lujack went there,” said Kuhns. “I think the thing that sticks out the most to me is their tradition. Their history is second to none when it comes to former players, coaches and winning.”
With his recruiting journey just beginning, the highly-touted junior is very optimistic by what he's heard already from a number of collegiate schools.
“So far I still don't have any offers at this point, but I'm talking to a lot of schools now,” shared Kuhns. “There's Oregon, Georgia, Yale, Purdue, Rice along with Notre Dame.
“Overall, the school I choose is going to have to be strong in academics. After that, I'll be looking for a school that I fit in well at and with the peers around me. Last but not least, I'll be looking for a competitive football team with great coaches.
“Those are the top three things I will be looking for.”
Until then his eyes will be firmly fixed on the start of the 2012 season, and though he’ll take it just one game at a time, Kuhns we be circling October 19th on his calendar, the rematch with Gilman.