Countdown to NSD: The Quarterbacks | February 1, 2013
5 days and counting, that’s how long it is until National Signing Day. Throughout the day on Wednesday recruits will announce where they are heading to play college, and you should be able to watch these announcements on the internet, or follow them on twitter via recruiting experts. Today I’m going to look at the top quarterbacks in this year’s class. Its very rare that a QB leaves his decision until NSD, so none of these guys will be seen on Wednesday, but you’ll have to look out for them as they help continue the QB revolution and begin their journey to a future to the NFL.
Christian Hackenburg, QB, Penn State
I’ve already written about Hackenburg in a previous article, and I personally think he’s the number 1 quarterback. Why? His size and arm strength are top notch, enabling him to see the whole field and throw bullets right where they need to be. Hackenburg will get the opportunity to work with Bill O’Brien at Penn State, where I think
he’ll start in his freshman season and lead the Nittany Lions through their sanction dominated next four years. Due to his physical tools I think we’ll be seeing him play on Sundays as well, make sure you become familiar with this 6’4” QB from Fork Union, VA.
Max Browne, QB, USC
Browne will go into spring practices at USC with a shot at replacing Matt Barkley as the starting quarterback. The consensus 5 star has incredible accuracy, ideal size (6’5”) and above average pocket awareness. I have no doubt that Browne will become the next great USC quarterback, of course it’s almost guaranteed that he’ll flop in the NFL (Check out USC’s pro QB history), but at the college level he’ll be extremely successful. He doesn’t possess a great amount of speed, but that isn’t necessarily a very big part of the USC offence so it doesn’t matter.
Cooper Bateman, QB, Alabama
You’ll struggle to find a bigger fan of Cooper Bateman than me. Bateman is a playmaker who is exciting to watch, he make plays with his feet as well as his huge arm. He trusts his arm too much at times, and can be inconsistent, but he’ll be playing for one of the best college football coaches of all time at Alabama, so he’ll be developed in the best way possible.
Shane Morris, QB, Michigan
The southpaw Michigan commit, Shane Morris, has a unique throwing style but great arm strength. He’s raw and needs a lot of work, but if he reaches his potential he’s going to be a great college quarterback. He struggles with accuracy and decision making at times, so I expect him to sit for a few years as he’s being developed and learning the system. The 5 star tag some outlets have given him is stupid, he’s nowhere near Christian Hackenburg/Max Browne in terms of talent/potential coming out of high school, so he’s being overrated, as I said though, the potential is there.
Kevin Olsen, QB, Miami (FL)
The younger brother of Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen, Kevin Olsen has lived football every day of his life. His dad was a well respected high school coach, and his other brother played quarterback at Virginia. This means that the Miami commit understands the game more than most other prospects, so he sees the game in a different way. He reminds me of former Miami Hurricane Ken Dorsey in the way he plays, and while he’ll never have the college career Dorsey had, he should have a longer overall career. I expect him to redshirt next season then replace Stephen Morris as a redshirt freshman in 2014.
Special Mentions: Brice Ramsey, Georgia. Cody Thomas, Oklahoma.
This is a strong quarterback class, but remember that most star QBs weren’t hyped up 5 or 4 stars, the majority were guys who no-one had ever heard of during the recruiting process, still, I expect these five to become star college quarterbacks, especially Christian Hackenburg. One name to keep an eye out for is Luke Del Rio, son of Denver Broncos defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio, he has walked on at Alabama, and while I don’t expect him to beat out Cooper Bateman, it will be interesting to see whether his decision to walk on at ‘Bama will make him look stupid or smart, as he committable offers from Oregon State and Oklahoma State.