Player Spotlight: Randy Hippeard

Jul 12, 2013 Brandon Harrell

When the starting quarterback goes down, it’s important to have a guy who can fill the void without a hitch.  Randy Hippeard has the tools to be a starting quarterback anywhere in the Arena Football League, luckily for us; he found a fit in Tampa Bay.

The 6’3 205 pound QB was born and raised in Stafford, Virginia. Initially, Hippeard didn’t plan on being a quarterback; but football had a way of finding him.

“I started out playing baseball,” said Hippeard.  “That was the first sport I ever started playing, as a shortstop and pitcher.  I didn’t actually start playing football until right before middle school.  My mom didn’t want me to play, she didn’t want me getting hurt, but my best friend’s dad was the head coach and he talked her into letting me play.  It was K-2 football.  I can remember throwing that thing forty or fifty yards when I was younger.”

Fresh out of high school, in 2005, Hippeard went on to play for the University of Virginia Wise, where he would start in all four years of his career.  In 41 games as a Cavalier, Hippeard averaged 283.9 passing yards and 2.9 touchdowns per game.  Naturally, Hippeard peaked as a senior completing 217-of-354 passes for 3,637 yards, 38 touchdowns, and nine interceptions in 41 games.  For this outstanding performance he was named Mid-South Conference Player of the Year. 

After time spent with the Winterthur Warriors in Switzerland, Hippeard moved on to the Professional Indoor Football League where he played for the Columbus Lions and the Knoxville Knighthawks.  The transition from the outdoors into the arena was easy for the QB.

“It’s not as tough as you’d think,” he said. “Although you’ve got to get rid of the ball faster, you’ve got to make your reads that much faster.  I think the indoor game helps you make your reads quicker, it helps you get the ball out faster, and helps with your timing.” 

On April 18, 2013, Hippeard was picked up by the Tampa Bay Storm.  He noted how having family in the Tampa Bay area made the acquisition extra special.

“It’s fun.  I actually stay out here with my uncle.  So it’s great to be able to play in front of family.  They didn’t get to see much of my college football.   So to have family out here and be able to come to games, it’s awesome. “

On June 22nd, versus the Chicago Rush, Hippeard’s family and the rest of the Storm fans got to witness his Arena Football League debut.  The 27 year-old quarterback threw for 315 yards and six touchdowns, including a 41 yarder.   He became the third quarterback in Storm history to throw for over 300 yards in his starting debut.  Hippeard commented on how he felt going into that game and moving forward.

“I’m not going to say nervous, I’ll say butterflies, anxious, just to get the ball rolling.  I came out and just wanted to execute the playbook, give our guys the opportunities to make plays.  We’ve just got to keep going and keep fighting.”

With McPherson out the past few weeks, it’s crucial to have depth at the quarterback position and a player like Hippeard to be able to step in and take the reins.  He will be leading his team to the Alamodome this weekend where they will take on the San Antonio Talons.  Hippeard knows how important it is to get a win and comments on what they need to focus on that will head them in the right direction.

“Little things, we’ve just got to win our one-on-one battles.  I can’t overthrow guys.  I think I overthrew Joe twice this past week.  So, you’ve got to do the little things right and the big things will take care of themselves.”

2013 Game-By-Game Stats

#8 HIPPEARD, Randy
Att
Comp
Int
Pct
Yards
TD
Long
Sack-Yds
Rating
San Jose SaberCats
11
6
0
54.5
67
1
25
0-0
95.64
Pittsburgh Power
4
2
0
50.0
36
1
21
0-0
120.83
New Orleans VooDoo
18
13
0
72.2
195
2
29
0-0
135.19
Chicago Rush
38
25
0
65.8
315
6
41
2-10
130.92
Spokane Shock
37
23
0
62.2
249
6
26
1-7
121.51
Totals
108
69
0
63.9
862
16
41
3-17
125.62