Quarterbacks for 2009 skilled in more than reading defenses

Posted by Mark Branstad – Football Talent Advisors

I just received my weekly copy of the Sporting News and the cover reads “Year of the QB”.  The corresponding article claims 2009 is going to be an extraordinary year for quarterbacks…the basic sentiment out there is this year has an unusually large number of great college quarterbacks due to a number of factors.  Whether or not this is true depends on one’s perspective but the article makes clear there are a lot of good college QBs out there. 

Like always I took a closer look at where these players came from and what their athletic backgrounds were, and not surprising all 13 QBs spotlighted in the SN article played more than just football in high school.  Basketball, track / field and baseball were the most popular amongst these players.  

Clearly playing quarterback at an elite level requires the most specialized skills in football (sorry kickers).  Having said that, being a pure athlete is not considered an essential characteristic necessary for playing quarterback at an elite level. 

But looking at the athletic backgrounds of the quarterbacks listed below leads me to an intriguing, admittedly unoriginal, idea…perhaps collegiate quarterbacks ARE becoming more athletic or maybe they always have been and not many people noticed.  Maybe being competitive year round in high school, being a multi-sport athlete, is an important ingredient to becoming a successful quarterback?         

Here are the 13 QBs:

Tim Tebow– (Florida) Nease HS, FL. – played baseball and basketball in  high school

Sam Bradford – (Oklahoma) Putnam City North HS, OK. – played baseball and golf in high school

Colt McCoy – (Texas) Jim Ned HS, TX. – lettered 3 yrs. in  track, ran 110 – 300 hurdles and 4×400 relay, basketball high school player

Terrelle Pryor – (Ohio State) Jeannette HS, PA. – ran 22.98 / 200 as freshman in high school, four year basketball player…he can run but I doubt the 4.33 / 40 I’ve been hearing about!

Robert Griffin – (Baylor) Copperas Cove HS, TX. – I think everyone knows about his track background but 13.55 / 110 hurdles and 35.33 / 300 hurdles both high school state records in TEXAS! 

Zac Robinson – (Oklahoma State) Chatfield HS, CO. – 11.23 / 100 & 23.33 / 200 high school state meet qualifier in 2005, shows that mobility on the field. 

Juice Williams – (Illinois) Chicago Vocational HS, IL. – ran on 4×100 relay and 4×400 relay in high school

Case Keenum – (Houston) Wylie HS, TX. – 43’00 triple jumper and ran 300 hurdles in high school and lettered in basketball.

Jeremiah Masoli – (Oregon) Serra HS, CA & St. Louis HS, HI. – ran 100, 200 and threw shot put as a sophomore at Serra HS. 

Russell Wilson – (N.C. State) Collegiate HS, VA. – played baseball in high school and currently plays at N.C. State

Todd Reesing – (Kansas) Lake Travis HS, TX. – played baseball in high school

Jevan Snead – (Mississippi) Stephenville HS, TX. – played basketball and baseball as a freshman, then specialized on football

Dan LeFevour – (Central Michigan) Benet Academy HS, IL. – played basketball in high school

I’m going to add a few names to this list: (based on physical attributes, not necessarily production yet) 

Aaron Corp – (Southern California) Orange Lutheran HS, CA. – ran 4×400 relay and 400 meter dash in high school, he’s athletic enough to give USC another dimension at quarterback that they haven’t had. 

Franshaw “Boo” Jackson – (Ohio University) Lompoc HS, CA. – 45’00 triple jumper and 21’11 long jumper in high school, he’s relatively unknown but could have a big season in the MAC this year. 

Here’s a look into the future of athletic quarterbacks: (these guys are athletic enough to make the switch to other positions)

Denard Robinson – (Michigan) Deerfield Beach HS, FL. – ran 10.44 / 100 at the Broward County Athletic Association Championships this year.  Throw in a 21.89 / 200 at the 4A Region 3 Meet and you’ve got a very fast football player. 

Russell Shepard – (LSU) Cypress Ridge HS, TX. – ran as fast as 11.1 (FAT) and 4×100 (42.53), 4×200 (1:29.02), 21’11 long jump.  He’s a player that may make an early impact at multiple positions for LSU. 

Kevin Newsome – (Penn State) Churchland HS, VA. – arguably the MOST athletic incoming freshman quarterback, I know tough call but listen…14.15 /110 hurdle high school state champion, 4×100 (41.91) state champion runner and 7.35 / 55 indoor hurdle champion.  That last stat is flying!  He even threw some shot put during the indoor 2008 season.

Shavodrick Beaver – (Tulsa) Wichita Falls Rider HS, TX. – ran some 200 and 4×400 in high school, decommitted from Michigan and signed with Tulsa could be a big hit.  He’s not nearly as fast as the guys above but he can play. 

Tyrik Rollison – (Auburn) Sulphur Springs HS, TX. – triple jumped over 39’00, long jumped over 19’00 and ran 100 plus 4×100 in high school.  He seems to be in the athletic realm of current Auburn QB Kodi Burns

Jordan Luallen – (Georgia Tech) Center Grove HS, IN. – high school state meet qualifier 4×100 (43.24) and 4×400 (3:21.51) as a junior, ran 110 hurdles (14.93) / 300 hurdles (39.43) qualified for state in 2007, most impressive ran 55 indoor hurdles (7.87) as 6’03 185-190 pound sophomore.  He might not be as fast as Michigan recruit Robinson or Penn State recruit Newsome but he’s athletic enough to make an impact at GT.

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