Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Elite 11 Watch: UCLA commit Eddie Printz
By Jon Mahoney
Throughout this offseason, we’ve spotlighted Class of 2013 quarterbacks who have a shot at making the Elite 11 finals in July. This week, we profile Lassiter (Marietta, Ga.) junior Eddie Printz, who’ll be competing at the Elite 11 regional at Buford High School (Ga.) this Friday evening.
In his mind, he doesn’t have time to relax if he wants to improve his game and keep pace with the rest of the top quarterbacks in the nation.
The offseason began for the Lassiter (Marietta, Ga.) junior shortly after his squad fell to Walton (Marietta, Ga.) 30-24 in the Class AAAAA state semifinals in December. It was the fourth straight road playoff game for the Trojans, who drove to Walton’s 9-yard line at the end of the game but had their comeback attempt end after Printz’s pass on fourth down was broken up.
Overall, it was a remarkable season for Printz, whose 3,350 passing yards rank 11th on the Georgia single-season passing list. He also tossed 28 touchdown passes and was picked off just nine times.
But Printz, who's rated the nation's No. 19 pocket passer in the Class of 2013 by ESPN, isn’t one to get caught up in what he’s done. So for multiple days each week, he’s been doing flexibility training in the morning, lifting weights at lunch and then throwing to his receivers after school
Printz is focused on making this summer’s Elite 11 finals and then leading Lassiter to a state title in the fall. And he’s been able to focus completely on football after pledging to UCLA in January. Printz had previously committed to SMU, but reconsidered after SMU coach June Jones was considering the Arizona State job.
Printz has prior Elite 11 experience having shined at the regional in Athens, Ga., last year. He’s hoping a strong performance at this Friday’s regional in Buford, Ga., will lead to an invite to the Elite 11 finals.
ESPNHS: How good do you feel with what you guys accomplished this past season? Printz: I thought we had a good season, made a nice run in the playoffs. I’m excited to come back and make another run. It was fun. Our team overcame adversity and played our tails off. We wanted to win for the seniors. It’s like playing for your brothers out there.
ESPNHS: How much has that fourth-down pass stuck with you this offseason? Printz: It’s motivation. It makes me want to get that much better. We had the play called and just didn’t execute it. There’s not much else left to say.
ESPNHS: You were originally committed to SMU? What led you to de-commit from the Mustangs and ultimately pick the Bruins? Printz: All the drama with June Jones kind of gave me doubts about going there. I felt like I could go in right away at UCLA and compete. I thought it was a good opportunity for me. The academics there are top notch and coach (Jim) Mora is a great coach. Coach (Noel) Mazzone is a good guy. I can’t wait to play for him.
ESPNHS: You were at last year’s Elite 11 regional at Georgia. How do you think that experience will help you this time around? Printz: It was a good learning experience for me. I felt like some of the things they taught me I could go back and work on. I felt like they made me a better quarterback as a whole.
ESPNHS: What type of mentality to do you have to take into an event like that and what do you think you’ll bring to this competition? Printz: You’ve got to be ready to compete and show what you have to offer. I feel like I’m a good leader, on and off the field. I was the first junior named captain in Lassiter history. It was a huge honor. I have good pocket presence and a strong arm.
ESPNHS: How much would an Elite 11 invite mean to you and what do you hope to accomplish if you got one? Printz: It would be phenomenal. It would be a great opportunity to compete with the best and it would be a great learning experience. It would be something I’d remember forever.
ESPNHS: What have you been doing to improve this offseason? Printz: I work out multiple days a week. During lunch, I lift weights. In the morning, I do rapid training, which is like bodyweight flexibility movements with medicine balls and bands. And I throw with my receivers after school. I’m pretty much moving 24-7.
Eddie Printz School: Lassiter (Marietta, Ga.)
2011 Team Record: 10-4 (Lost in Class AAAAA state semifinals)