Monday, March 15, 2010
LeMay's release turns heads
By Tom Luginbill ESPN Recruiting
ATLANTA -- There were lots of big arms and quality under-the-radar prospects on hand Saturday at the Steve Clarkson Dreammaker Tour, including two prospects who lived up to their advance billing.
If you were to poll college coaches on what makes Christian LeMay (Matthews, N.C./Butler) so attractive, his release would likely be the first thing out of their mouths. That's something you can't coach, that everyone wants in a quarterback and what LeMay possesses. Arguably, it's as good a release as we have seen in the past five years. The ball comes out of his hand so clean and smooth, with no technical quirks to get in the way. He possesses a strong arm and is capable of making every throw, but the ability to get the ball out quickly and without wasted motion is why LeMay is so highly coveted.
Christian LeMay has already narrowed his list down to 10 schools, including Florida, Bama and Georgia.
He appears to have added some bulk since last summer and may have gotten a bit taller as well. While LeMay has narrowed his choices to 10 schools and would like to take some unofficial visits this spring and summer to possibly Georgia, Clemson and Auburn, among others, he said he does not want to get overloaded with camps and visits.
"I don't want to get so busy that I can't have some fun and enjoy the summer with friends and teammates," LeMay said.
LeMay's pal and in-state rival QB Marquise Williams (Charlotte, N.C./Mallard Creek) is a prospect who really has some upside. He has good physical tools and already possesses the stature you would like to have in the position. Williams, who is now up to 14 offers, has not yet narrowed things down and is still letting the process unfold, but did note that the Virginia Tech Hokies are a team he has serious interest in and would possibly visit this spring or summer.
Williams has the look of a pocket passer, but is a much better runner than you might think and is very light on his feet considering he's about 6-foot-3 and 220 pounds. He can make all the throws with good ball speed, but displays impressive touch on the deep ball and can change ball speeds depending on the throw. He stands tall with poise and confidence within the pocket and shows impressive footwork, transfer of weight and gets good velocity on the ball.
You can see there is real friendship and camaraderie between both Williams and LeMay, and they are both ultra-competitive with each and every rep.
Dual-threat QB Ronnie Bell (Tyrone, Ga./Sandy Creek) may be on the shorter side, but he has a great arm with wrist snap that you can't coach. The ball comes out hot and he can make all the throws. He needs to be in the shotgun spread to be most effective, but his pure ability to throw the ball was impressive.
Andre Wilson (Conyers, Ga./Heritage) is a duat-threat QB who is going to have to make the most of his opportunities under center in the passing game as he plays in a conservative, option-oriented run scheme, but this undersized athlete can really hum it. He might have had the consistently strongest arm of any QB in attendance. His release is quick and the ball jumps out of his hand. Like Bell, Wilson lacks great size in terms of what is considered ideal measurables, but he can throw and run.
Austin Brown (Mount Airy, Ga./Habersham Central) and Carson Barnett (Fairburn, Ga./Landmark Christian) both displayed sound footwork and quick releases. Brown has the stronger arm, but Barnett was more consistently accurate on Saturday. Brown is more developed in terms of strength and bulk at this stage, and Barnett may be a late bloomer. Dropping from center and getting the ball out quickly are strengths for both prospects.
Price Litton (Matthews, N.C./Weddington) has prototypical size and quality arm strength. He has smooth throwing mechanics, but tends to lose the strike zone a bit when he is not balanced in his set-up. His drops are smooth and consistent, but he does not always follow through and transfer his weight when delivering, which can cause errant throws on passes he is capable of making. He is receiving interest from many schools, including Wisconsin and North Carolina, and would like to take unofficial visits to NC State and Duke this spring.
Tom Luginbill is the national scouting director for ESPN Recruiting.