North State Journal’s 100 in 100 series will showcase the best athlete from each of North Carolina’s 100 counties. From Alamance to Yancey, each county will feature one athlete who stands above the rest. Some will be obvious choices, others controversial, but all of our choices are worthy of being recognized for their accomplishments — from the diamond and gridiron to racing ovals and the squared circle. You can see all the profiles as they’re unveiled here.
Football was something of an afterthought for Quick as a youngster coming up through the Hamlet Recreation program and later at Richmond Senior High School. He was better known for his talent on the track where he was a world-class sprinter and part of his school’s state championship 4-x-400 relay team in 1977 and for leading his basketball team and conference in scoring as a senior.
The well-rounded athlete was so good on the basketball court that he planned to play the sport in college until his high school football coach Ron Krall convinced him otherwise. “Son, you don’t even know how good you are,” Krall said in steering him to Fork Union Military Academy to spend a year honing his gridiron skills.
Quick ended up setting a Fork Union record for receptions in a season and was rewarded with a football scholarship to NC State.
Although he continued to excel on the track, posting a best of 13.6 in the 100-meter hurdles, he was even better on the football field, setting a then-school record with 116 catches for 1,934 yards and 10 touchdowns. Already a top pro prospect, he elevated his draft stock even more following his senior season of 1981 when he was named the Offensive MVP of the Blue-Gray All-Star Game.
Even so, his selection by the Philadelphia Eagles with the 20th overall pick of the first round was judged as something of a reach at the time. It didn’t take long for him to change the minds of his doubters.
Quick earned five Pro Bowl selections from 1983-87, leading the NFL in receiving yards with 1,409 in ’83 and ranking second with 1,247 two years later. He was among the top three in the NFC in each of those five Pro Bowl seasons while becoming the first player in team history to surpass 1,000 receiving yards for three straight years.