High-SchoolTexas: Elite 11

Elite 11 Watch: Skyline QB DeVante Kincade

April, 5, 2012

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 a player who's already earned that honor in Skyline (Dallas) junior DeVante Kincade.

In DeVante Kincade's mind, he was about four months overdue for his chance to throw passes at Cowboys Stadium.

Last December, the Dallas Skyline junior quarterback stood one win away from playing for the Class 5A, Division I state title under the bright lights of "Jerry's World." But the Raiders' undefeated season unraveled in the final two minutes during a 28-24 semifinal loss to eventual champ Southlake Carroll (Southlake, Texas).

"It was real tough, watching them score and then recover the onside kick and score again," recalled Kincade, who threw for 3,720 yards and 37 touchdowns last season. "We had 40 seconds after that to try and win the game, but we couldn't get the lead back. That loss gave me more fire and flames to work way harder and add on to our intensity."

So when Kincade finally did get to throw in Cowboys Stadium at last month's Dallas Elite 11 Regional Quarterback Camp, he was more than ready to shine. Using strong footwork and impressive accuracy, Kincade earned MVP honors and the first of 24 spots at the Elite 11 finals in Redondo Beach, Calif., in July.

Kincade took some time out to talk about his Elite 11 selection, recruitment and how RGIII is biting his style.

ESPNHS: What was the experience like at the Dallas Elite 11 regional?
Kincade: I had a really great time. There were a lot of great juniors there, so I knew I had to set the tone and get it done. We did things like throwing on the run and rolling out for the throw with things swinging in our face. It was really fun and challenging.

ESPNHS: What do you think stood out to the counselors that led them to name you the MVP?
Kincade: I felt like I did well in the footwork drills and being accurate. It almost felt like I was back at Skyline; I felt comfortable. I was just trying to be a leader and play to the best of my ability. I really wasn't expecting to win MVP, but God blessed me so that I did.

ESPNHS: What do you think the Elite 11 finals will be like?
Kincade: Oh, it's going to be way more intense. Trent Dilfer is a different guy. He's actually kind of like one of our coaches at Skyline, our offensive coordinator. He has a real passion for the game and I like that. I saw some of it on TV last year and they coach you really hard, which is good.

ESPNHS: What are your strengths as a quarterback?
Kincade: I think I have real good accuracy. I can also get out of the pocket and make throws on the run. I can play out of the shotgun and make hard throws as well.

ESPNHS: What are some things you are working to improve upon?
Kincade: I want to buy more time in the pocket instead of just rolling out so much. I think it'll help to make more throws in the pocket and only run if I really have to.

ESPNHS: Speaking of which, I'm sure you know a lot of critics have their thoughts about your size and what you need to adjust in your game. How do you respond to them?
Once I came into Elite 11, I came in confident. I know I'm not as highly recruited as a lot of the other guys, so I had to be confident in myself. I know I'm better than them. That's not to sound cocky, but it's just a confidence I have in myself and my ability.

ESPNHS: The weekend wasn't all good news for you. Your top receiver in junior Ra' Shaad Samples fractured his left foot and is expected to be out three to four months. How concerned are you about his injury?
Kincade: I was shocked when I heard it. I couldn't believe it. We have great chemistry, where he knows where I'm going to throw it and I know where he will be. He knows when I'm having a bad game and I know when he's having a bad day, too. I'm sure he will come back strong, though.

ESPNHS: Which schools are recruiting you right now and where are you at in the process?
I've got offers from Kansas State, Colorado, Notre Dame, Mississippi State, Illinois and Oregon State. I don't have any favorites at this point. I think after spring football is over, I'll break it down some to a list of favorites.

ESPNHS: I noticed you wear a glove on your left hand. Is that something you do for style or grip?
I've always been doing that since middle school. It does help me grip the ball better, and I feel like a different person when I put the glove on (laughs). A lot of people think I got it from Robert Griffin, but I was wearing it way before him.

School: Skyline (Dallas)
Position: QB
Class: 2013
2011 Team Record: 14-1 (lost in Class 5A, Division I semifinals)

2011 Stats
Completions-Attempts: 186-263 (.707)
Passing yards: 3,720
TD: 37
INT: 8
Rushing yards: 857
TD: 17

Brandon Parker covers high school sports for ESPNHS magazine and ESPNHS.com. Follow him on Twitter @brandoncparker or email him at brandon.c.parker@espn.com.
J.T. BarrettWilliam Wilkerson/ESPN.com Rider (Wichita Falls, Texas) junior quarterback J.T. Barrett will take part in the Elite 11 regional at Cowboys Stadium on Saturday.
Throughout this offseason, we’ll spotlight Class of 2013 quarterbacks who have a shot at making the Elite 11 finals in July. This week we profile Rider (Wichita Falls, Texas) signal-caller J.T. Barrett, who’ll be participating in this weekend’s Elite 11 regional in Arlington, Texas.

Elite 11 Watch Archive

J.T. Barrett considers himself a perfectionist.

So instead of basking in all his on-field accomplishments -- and there’s plenty of them -- the Rider (Wichita Falls, Texas) junior quarterback chooses to engross himself in game film.

During the season, Barrett watched film twice a day, looking for all the mistakes he made.

And during this offseason, the 6-foot-2, 210-pound ESPNU 150 Watch List prospect has worked out nearly every day with the hope of correcting those mistakes.

Barrett believes he’s an improved quarterback since the season ended for his Raiders in December. And that’s a scary thought considering he accounted for 3,119 yards and 23 touchdowns as a junior.

Barrett, who holds offers from the likes of Texas Tech, Nebraska, Baylor, Ohio State and LSU, will get a chance to put his skills on display this Saturday during the first Elite 11 regional in Arlington, Texas. And he hopes he’ll show enough to earn a spot in this summer’s Elite 11 finals.

ESPNHS: When did you first set a goal of making the Elite 11?
Barrett: Last year, I watched the whole thing. I got real excited. I wanted to get in. If you’re there, you’re one of the best in the nation. I’m trying to get to that finale. When I got the invitation to the Dallas regional, I ran to my coach.

ESPNHS: What are you looking to prove this Saturday?
Barrett: I’m a quarterback who looks to pass first but also has the ability to run. If the pocket breaks down, I have the ability to escape the pocket and keep my eyes downfield, looking for who’s open and then delivering them the ball. I’ve read a couple places where people say I can’t throw, and I’m looking to prove them wrong.

ESPNHS: How often do you watch film and why is it so important to you?
Barrett: In season, I watch film twice a day, sometimes until midnight. I’m probably going to get in trouble, but sometimes it gets me away from my homework. If you have a counter for what the defense is doing, the defense isn’t going to be able to stop you. You have to find those things out. That’s why you watch film.

ESPNHS: What are your goals this offseason?
Barrett: My goals are to keep getting better. With the exposure I’ve gotten and my offers, some people might slack off if they were in my position. But every day, I’m making sure I’m getting better, whether it’s running, passing or watching film. You have to put in work. Even Peyton Manning does. If you don’t, somebody is going to catch up. You’re going to get passed.

ESPNHS: Who’s the quarterback you look up to the most?
Barrett: Peyton Manning just by the way he works on the field. He takes care of business, then he goes home. That’s the way it should be. I like how he can dissect the defense. He doesn’t really beat you with long throws. He breaks down defenses with his reads. He knows what the defense is about to do even before the defense does. That’s from watching film and being a student of the game. That’s what I’m trying to be. I used to be a Colts fan, but when they got rid of my man Peyton, now I’m just a Peyton fan.

School: Rider (Wichita Falls, Texas)
Position: QB
Class: 2013
2011 Team Record: 10-3 (lost in Class 4A, Division I regional finals)

2011 Stats
Completions-Attempts: 101-170 (59.4 percent)
Yards: 1,604
TD: 14
INT: 7
Rushing Yards: 1,515
Rushing TD: 9

Elite 11 Watch: Texas star Kohl Stewart

March, 8, 2012
KohlStewartthrowCourtesy of Wayne DonnellySt. Pius X (Houston) junior QB Kohl Stewart, a Texas A&M commit, threw for 3,167 yards and 30 touchdowns last season.
Throughout this offseason, we’ll spotlight Class of 2013 quarterbacks who have a shot at making the Elite 11 finals in July. This week we profile St. Pius X (Houston) signal-caller Kohl Stewart.

Elite 11 Watch Archive

Believe it or not, baseball is Kohl Stewart's first love. Football didn't truly come into the picture until his freshman year at St. Pius X (Houston). Sure, Stewart had suited up at quarterback during his younger days, but his arm didn't get used very often. "The only thing I remember is that all we did was run," Stewart recalls with a laugh.

Boy, have things changed.

Baseball is still there, what with Stewart batting .330 with 30 RBIs while striking out 42 batters as an outfielder and right-handed pitcher last year. But the talk these days is of Stewart's quarterback skills on the gridiron. As a junior, he passed for 3,167 yards with 30 touchdowns for the Panthers.

Stewart, who has committed to play football and baseball at Texas A&M, took time to talk about his dual-sport love, college commitment and development as a quarterback.

ESPNHS: What are some of your earliest memories of football?
Stewart: I played two years of football when I was younger in little league, but my first year really playing football after that was my freshman year because I didn't play in junior high. I really learned to throw at St. Pius X. Playing baseball helped because the throwing motion was there and that helped mold the way I did things as a quarterback.

ESPNHS: Considering your late start, what was it like to get attention so early from colleges?
Stewart: It was a shocker to me that colleges were contacting me after my sophomore year. Everything was so fresh and I had broken my collarbone as a freshman, so when I came in for my sophomore year, I didn't get even know if I would start. But it happened and I became pretty capable from that position.

ESPNHS: What's your favorite sport, football or baseball?
Stewart: I don't really have a favorite. I've played baseball longer, so football is more fresh and there are a lot more wheels turning in head because it's new to me. I love playing both and will try to play both in college.

ESPNHS: Is Texas high school football just like they portray it on TV shows and movies?
Stewart: It definitely is. We've played a few teams here and I don't think I've seen people travel like they do for football games here. People will fill up our stadium from other schools. It's almost like the whole town shuts down for those Friday night lights in the fall. Everybody is going somewhere to see a game.

ESPNHS: What are your strengths as a quarterback?
Stewart: We've had a lot of good receivers, so they help make me look pretty good. My arm is where I can make certain throws that college quarterbacks can make. I feel like I know how to read defenses, too. My arm is my biggest strength in just making throws that other guys can't.

ESPNHS: What are some things you plan to work on this offseason?
Stewart: Just throwing to the right guy. It's really important that I get better at making sure I read the play correctly and get the ball to a guy that's in the best position to make a play.

ESPNHS: What impact would making the Elite 11 have on your development?
Stewart: It'd be an honor to play with guys that good and learn from the counselors, like Trent Dilfer. Having guys like that who played at the pro level can obviously teach you a lot, so I'd really look forward to the chance to be there.

ESPNHS: What made you commit to Texas A&M so early?
Stewart: Just the family feel. My family has been associating with Texas A&M for as long as I can remember because both my parents went there. We live an hour from campus, so it's pretty much home for me.

School: St. Pius X (Houston)
Position: QB
Class: 2013
College: Texas A&M
2011 Team Record: 5-7 (lost in TAPPS Division I quarterfinals)

2011 Stats
Completions-Attempts: 172-312 (.551)
Yards: 3,167
TD: 30
INT: 13

Brandon Parker covers high school sports for ESPNHS magazine and ESPNHS.com. Follow him on Twitter @brandoncparker or email him at brandon.c.parker@espn.com.

Elite 11 Watch: Texas QB Tyrone Swoopes

February, 10, 2012
Tyrone SwoopesDamon Sayles/ESPN.com Whitewright (Texas) junior quarterback Tyrone Swoopes passed for 1,394 yards and 15 touchdowns and rushed for 2,267 yards and 27 scores this past fall.
Throughout this offseason, we’ll spotlight Class of 2013 quarterbacks who have a shot at making the Elite 11 finals in July. This week we profile Whitewright standout Tyrone Swoopes.

Elite 11 Watch Archive

Tyrone Swoopes knows he's not your average quarterback. Rated a four-star recruit in the Class of 2013 by RecruitingNation, the junior quarterback can hurt you with his arm, but at 6-foot-5 and 220 pounds, Swoopes has the imposing, athletic build to make opponents pay on the ground, as well. The proof lies in his 540 rushing yards and seven touchdowns during an October contest for the Tigers this past season. Scary thing is, Swoopes is determined to make his passing ability just as explosive as his rushing prowess.

ESPNHS: How would you describe yourself as a quarterback?
Swoopes: I'm not bad, but I think I could work on the passing aspect of it. Sometimes, I tend to drop the ball and run when I feel pressured instead of stepping around and throwing it. I think that'll be important for me to develop going to the next level because there, it won't be as easy as it is now.

ESPNHS: What was it like rushing for 540 yards in one game as a quarterback?
Swoopes: It was fun. During the game, I didn't think anything of it. I didn't know what I had done until everybody was telling me after the game. I thought it was pretty cool.

ESPNHS: After you finishing playing basketball, what do you plan on working on this offseason?
Swoopes: I'm going to work on my accuracy because when I'm tired, sometimes late in the game I won't do the certain things that I should do with my mechanics.

ESPNHS: Which quarterbacks do you like to watch and study?
Swoopes: I watch Cam Newton the most because he's exciting to watch. I've paid attention to how he's developed from college to the NFL, where he still runs a bit but he passes a lot more than he did in college.

ESPNHS: What would it mean to be invited to the Elite 11 camp?
Swoopes: Well, I got invited to the regionals this summer, and I'm looking forward to that. But I saw the TV show last summer about the national camp and I think it would be fun to go out to California because I've never been there. Just to meet those guys and be around those other great quarterbacks would be a good experience.

ESPNHS: What does it take to be an elite quarterback?
Swoopes: I think an elite quarterback has to be able to lead his team through anything that comes up through adversity. You can't get too worked up because you have to be a leader and control the game.

ESPNHS: Which schools have offered you so far and do you have any favorites?
Swoopes: I've gotten offers from Notre Dame, Stanford, Oregon, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Baylor, Oklahoma, Auburn and Alabama. I think Baylor, Oklahoma and Texas are my three favorites right now because I went to their junior days and I enjoyed it. Those will be the only places I've really been so far. [Note: Swoopes will be attending a Texas junior day this weekend.]

School: Whitewright
Position: QB
Class: 2013
2011 Team Record: 7-4 (lost in first round of Class 2A playoffs)

2011 Stats
Completions-Attempts: 110-209 (.526)
Yards: 1,394
TD: 15
INT: 7
Rushing Yards: 2,267
Rushing TDs: 27

Brandon Parker covers high school sports for ESPNHS magazine and ESPNHS.com. Follow him on Twitter @brandoncparker or email him at brandon.c.parker@espn.com.