Elite 11 Finals: What to watch for
Competitors ready for a grueling test to find the nation's top QBs
Throughout this spring, more than 300 Class of 2013 high school quarterbacks competed in Elite 11 regional events across the country. They traveled to Dallas and Atlanta, New York and Columbus, Oakland and Las Vegas, all with the hope of being considered the top high school quarterback in the country.
In doing so, they joined a prestigious list of quarterbacks who have taken part in an Elite 11 competition. The event, dating back to 1999, has evaluated thousands of quarterbacks and sent dozens of signal-callers to Southern California for the Elite 11 finals.
Elite 11 Finals
The Elite 11 finals will feature 25 of the nation's top quarterbacks in the Class of 2013 and will run from July 18-22. The finals will be shown on ESPN in two parts, with the first show airing on Aug. 7 and the second on Aug. 14 (both at 7 p.m. ET).
• Meet the 25 quarterbacks
• Luke Del Rio forges own path
• Cody Thomas pumped for finals
• Barrett looks to prove passing skills
• Tom Luginbill: 10 QBs to watch
• Dilfer: How each QB can win Elite 11
• Elite 11 home
It's a list that includes current NFL signal-callers such as Matthew Stafford, Andrew Luck, Matt Cassel, Mark Sanchez, Josh Freeman, Vince Young, Jake Locker and Tim Tebow. Plenty more are sure to follow. And this year's class of 25 hopefuls, who earned a spot in the finals based on their performances at the regional camps, will look to eventually join their predecessors in the pros.
A strong performance at the Elite 11 finals, which begins Wednesday in Redondo Beach, Calif., will be a good first step. The finals will be later shown on ESPN in two parts, with the first show airing on Aug. 7 and the second on Aug. 14 (both 7 p.m. ET).
The competition is usually a great starting point for colleges that want to land the quarterback prospect who can take them to big things at the next level. But this season, 24 of the 25 Elite 11 finalists have already committed to colleges. Only one -- Zack Greenlee -- remains undecided. Greenlee, who won the Las Vegas Elite 11 regional, didn't have an offer until late June (from Fresno State, which is still his only offer). Other colleges will surely be watching closely.
But even if the overwhelming majority of athletes don't need to worry about wowing coaches, there's still plenty on the line in what is the final tuneup for many of them before the high school football season begins next month.
This summer, the competitors will be tested in a variety of ways with drills that measure footwork, arm strength, accuracy, touch and instincts. The athletes will compete in 7-on-7 competitions and two-minute drills.
It's not just on-field ability, either. Athletes will be graded on video sessions and play recognition. ESPN analyst and former Super Bowl-winning QB Trent Dilfer, who serves as the event's head instructor, sent out a playbook to each competitor before the event began. The book contains plays that Dilfer will call out during practices. Knowledge of the playbook and the ability to execute those plays on the fly is a major component of the camp.
Through the event, some of the athletes are ranked on a list for everyone to see, so everyone knows where they stand. It's a stark reminder that this isn't just an informational session. It's a competition to determine which quarterbacks are the best in the country. From the time the quarterbacks arrive on Tuesday afternoon until the final decision is made on Sunday evening, they're being evaluated on everything.
These athletes will be learning from the best, too. In addition to Dilfer, several other high-profile college QBs will be on hand to help guide the high school athletes through the drills, offering advice on everything from footwork to release points to mental makeup.
This year's class of counselors includes Matt Barkley of USC, Garrett Gilbert of SMU, Mike Glennon of NC State, E.J. Manuel of Florida State, Aaron Murray of Georgia and Geno Smith of West Virginia.
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ELITE 11 FINALS
Twenty-five of the nation's top quarterbacks will battle in the Elite 11 finals. Recap• Woulard wins Elite 11 finals MVP
• McKinney: Day 5 notebook
• Top storylines from Elite 11 finals
• Woulard talks about being named MVP
• Elite 11 makes impact on Bateman
• Swoopes learns plenty from Elite 11
• Sherman/McKinney: Day 4 recap
• Day 4 notes: Ramsey next Dawg in line
• QBs consider staying home vs. leaving state
• Luginbill: Quick reads from Day 3
• Luginbill: Day 3 recap
• Day 3 notes: Morris at ease with celebrity
• Perception vs. reality with dual-threat QBs
• Luginbill: Day 2 recap
• Day 2 notes: Etling prepared to excel
• Luginbill: Day 2 morning top performers
• Luginbill: Quick reads from Day 2
• Hackenberg stays faithful to Penn State
• Hackenberg talks about Elite 11
• Luginbill: Quick reads from Day 1
• Luginbill: Day 1 top performers
• Day 1 notes: Greenlee fitting right in
• Elite 11 primer: What to watch for
• Luginbill: 10 to watch at Elite 11
• Dilfer breaks down how each QB can win
• The selection process: Part I Part II
• Surprise last-minute invites
|Rank||School (City, State)||Rec|
|3||Trinity For Boys|
|See the full football rankings »|