Recruiting: Assessing the West's best QBs, postseason
February, 8, 2011
By Greg Biggins | ESPNLosAngeles.com
Cliff Welch/Icon SMIChandler, Ariz. QB Brett Hundley was by far UCLA's biggest signing during the recruiting season.Editor's note: In the first of a postseason series on West Coast prep football prospects, recruiting expert Greg Biggins takes a look at the region's top quarterbacks now that national signing day has come and gone:
There wasn’t a whole lot of shuffling in our top five from the preseason with one big exception as one signal caller jumped from outside the top 10 to land at the No. 5 spot. Three other quarterbacks not ranked in our preseason top 20 also made big moves after having huge senior seasons.
UCLA signee Brett Hundley held on to the top spot with a very nice senior season and a solid showing at the Under Armour practices. Hundley threw for 2,348 yards and 20 touchdowns and just two interceptions while rushing for 856 yards and nine more scores. He has been called the ‘savior’ of the UCLA program and has a chance to make an immediate impact for the Bruins next fall.
Hundley has already enrolled in Westwood and is the most talented quarterback UCLA has recruited in some time. Physically, he has a college body right now, a live, accurate arm and excellent mobility. He’s a natural leader as well, shows poise in the pocket and is the type of personality his teammates will gravitate toward.
Elite 11 signal caller Cody Kessler did it all for Bakersfield Centennial completing nearly 70 percent of his passes for 2,831 yards and 36 touchdowns and just two picks. He also rushed for 324 yards and eight scores and is an underrated athlete. He’s a gregarious kid, full of personality and charisma. Physically, Kessler boasts a very strong arm and throws a great deep ball. He has already enrolled at USC and will compete for the backup job all spring.
Like Kessler, Max Wittek has enrolled early at USC as well and it will be very interesting watching the two signal callers compete over the next few years. After a slow start last season, Wittek came on strong and finished the year throwing for 2,252 yards and 24 touchdowns with 15 interceptions. Wittek is strong mechanically with a big arm and the ability to make plays with his legs as well.
Evan Crower is a pure pocket passer and one of the state’s best two way athletes. The Stanford signee also will play baseball in college but football is his first love. He threw for 2,232 yards and 32 touchdowns with just four picks. The smooth throwing lefty is one of the most accurate passers in the region and knows where to go with the football. Arm strength is the one area he needs to improve on but as he fills out, that should take care of itself.
Michael Eubank compares very favorable to former Corona Centennial signal callers Matt Scott (Arizona) and Taylor Martinez (Nebraska) and may have even more upside than both. He improved more in one year than just about any quarterback in recent memory and his upside is off the charts. He has a body like Cam Newton and is a dangerous dual threat quarterback. Eubank threw for 2,831 yards and 22 touchdowns with three picks and rushed for 1,329 yards and 19 more scores.
*Preseason rankings are in parentheses
1. (1) Brett Hundley, 6-4, 210, Chandler (Ariz.) -- UCLA
Has every physical tool you could want and his intangibles are off the charts.
2. (2) Cody Kessler, 6-1, 215, Bakersfield (Calif.) Centennial -- USC
Had an incredible senior season and put up video game-like numbers.
3. (3) Max Wittek, 6-4, 215, Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei -- USC
Can make all the throws and has above average athleticism.
4. (4) Evan Crower, 6-4, 190, San Diego (Calif.) St. Augustine -- Stanford
Matt Leinart clone had a gaudy 32-4 touchdown-to-interception ratio last season.
5. (11) Michael Eubank, 6-5, 230, Corona (Calif.) Centennial -- Arizona State
Went from a raw prospect in the fall to a bonafide superstar by the end of the season.
6. (5) Michael Bercovici, 6-0, 210, Woodland Hills (Calif.) Taft -- Arizona State
Best pure passer in the region, already enrolled at ASU for spring practice.
7. (9) Marcus Mariota, 6-4, 185, Honolulu (Hawaii) St. Louis -- Oregon
Led the Crusaders to a state championship in his only season as a starter.
8. (10) Derrick Brown, 6-3, 230, Murrieta (Calif.) Vista Murrieta -- Washington
Last minute switch from Utah to Huskies was a huge pickup for the Dawgs.
9. (6) Kyle Boehm, 6-3, 220, San Jose (Calif.) Archbishop Mitty -- California
Big-framed signal caller rushed for 15 touchdowns last season.
10. (7) Chad Jeffries, 6-1, 180, Glendora (Calif.) -- San Diego State
Dual-threat quarterback who does everything well.
The Next 10:
11. (8) Jimmy Laughrea, 6-2, 180, Rocklin (Calif.) -- Boise State
12. (14) Dustin Walton, 6-4, 215, Raton (N.M.) -- New Mexico
13. (16.) Brett Smith, 6-2, 190, Salem (Ore.) West Salem -- Wyoming
14. (12) Cody Clements, 6-1, 200, La Habra (Calif.) -- Washington State
15. (NR) Ricky Lloyd, 6-3, 185, Concord (Calif.) -- Southern Mississippi
16. (NR) Nick Isham, 6-0, 185, Westlake (Westlake Village, Calif.) -- Louisiana Tech
17. (18) Conner Preston, 6-0, 205, Gardena (Calif.) Serra -- Southern Methodist
18. (NR) Dano Graves, 5-10, 180, Folsom (Calif.) -- Air Force
19. (17) Alex Kuresa, 5-11, 160, Hyrum (Utah) Mountain Crest -- Brigham Young
20. (20) Joseph Gray, 5-11, 175 Los Angeles (Calif.) Dorsey -- San Jose State
Greg Biggins is an occasional contributor to the ESPNLosAngeles.com Preps Blog. For more recruiting news, check out his Insider blog on West Coast recruiting.