Riley Harms doesn't like to leave anything to chance.
The Fremont High School quarterback is meticulous in his preparation as he begins his third year as the Tigers' starter.
"I think Riley is a lot like Tom Brady (New England quarterback) in that he is a perfectionist," Fremont coach Seth McClain said. "He is always working to improve. There are a lot of times I just have to tell him to go home from (workouts). It is unbelievable what this kid wants to accomplish. In his three years as a starter, he has seen a lot of things -- the good, the bad and everything in between."
After a 1-8 season in 2016, Harms is hoping there are much better times ahead for the Tigers.
"We'll be improved," the 6-foot-6, 225-pound multi-sport athlete said. "We've got like 16 or 17 starters back from both sides of the ball. There is experience there and everyone is going to do better with a year of maturing. We'll be a lot better team."
While the Tigers struggled last year, Harms was a bright spot He connected on 133 of 235 pass attempts for 1,409 yards. He averaged 176 yards per game and threw for 12 touchdowns while earning Fremont Tribune All-Area honors.
As a sophomore, Harms was a backup to Bradyn Thomas. About midway through the season -- after Thomas switched positions -- Harms shared the quarterback duties with Chandler Lipsys. For the final three games, however, Harms was the starter. He started every game but one (due to an injury) last fall.
"I was still rough around the edges," Harms said about 2016. "We had altered our offense and it was a lot of learning for everybody. I know coming off of last year there are a lot of things I can improve on. But I'm more focused on winning more than anything else."
Harms will have some veteran receivers to throw to. Jake Sellon is back after hauling in a team-best 40 receptions for 334 yards. Also returning is fellow senior Nate Grimm. He caught 24 balls for 231 yards. Two other seniors, Joe Kment and Andrew Cusick, figure to play prominent roles as will junior Dillon Dix when he returns from a summer injury.
"I've been throwing to Jake and Nate since about sixth grade," Harms said. "I know where they are going to be and they know where I'm going to throw it. That is huge. Then you have a couple of guys like Joe and Andrew. They are smart players and they've gotten bigger, stronger and faster. I don't think we've lost anything in our receiving corps."
While opponents are well aware of Harms, he doesn't feel any pressure going into the season.
"I really don't," he said. "I feel we have enough guys around me to make big plays. I think I have more confidence than anything else. Obviously based on last year I don't think anyone is going to think much about us. Every team we play will think it will be a walk in the park, but it isn't going to be that way. I think that will help us. If we can punch them in the mouth early, they won't know what to do. We have enough (talent) on both sides of the ball that teams can't just worry about one guy."
Harms has already drawn the attention of college recruiters. He attended camps during the offseason at the University of South Dakota, South Dakota State, Wyoming, Northern Iowa and Drake.
"My priority right now is to have a good senior season," he said. "If things come up like a good offer, I might take advantage, but I think for the most part I'll wait (on a college choice) until after the season."
Harms said Mark Voss, a former quarterback at the University of Nebraska at Kearney, has served as a good mentor in his development as a player.
"I've had a lot of people that have helped me, but he has helped me a lot since about eighth grade," he said. "He is a volunteer assistant in the summer. He has helped me a lot with my footwork and understanding the game."
Harms has individual goals such as earning all-state honors and being selected for the Shrine Bowl, but they are secondary to helping the Tigers earn a berth in the postseason.
"In talking to most of my teammates, I think everyone's top goal is to qualify for the state playoffs," he said. "We want to qualify and see if we can make something happen from there."