Sunshine State First Look 2011: The QBs

Sunshine State First Look 2011:  The QBs

The 2010 class is now behind us and SunStateFootball.com brings you an early look at some of the players for the 2011 class, starting with the QBs. On average, the state of Florida sends between 14-20 QBs to the D-1 level.

Quarterbacks

Northwestern's Teddy Bridgewater entered the radar as a sophomore when he led the Bulls to the state title game, he followed that up with a solid junior campaign which saw an earlier than expected second round loss to rival Miami Central. Bridgewater is blessed with all the tools including WR athleticism and the arm strength to get the ball down the field. He will need to make major strides however as a QB, particularly his mechanics which need to be cleaned up. On the flip side, Bridewater is certainly a gamer and there is plenty of time left to develop. He could easily move to WR if QB does not work out.

Up the road a bit resides Chaminade's Jerrard Randall, he has a rifle for an arm, but needs to get more consistent, particularly on the short and intermediate routes. Randall is a tremendous running threat and easily could play another position. He is a great fit as a QB in an offense like Oregon and there is rumored mutual interest there. Staying in Broward is Plantation's Imonni Carswell. He has an above average arm and some athleticism to make plays with his feet.

There might not have been a better two way player in the state than South Fort Myers Dallas Crawford last season. The rising junior started at QB for the third straight year putting up impressive numbers while intercepting 10 balls on defense at Safety. Crawford is an excellent QB, but at 5'10 his future probably resides at WR, CB, or S. He has elite play-making ability, we are talking a player that is always in on the action and possesses terrific quickness.

Hagarty's Jeff Driskel has prototype size and is considered the top QB in Central Florida. He is another signal caller that will need to improve his passing skills, but the arm strength is there to work with. Driskel does not play on a great team nor one that has elite speed, he will need some time to adjust to college football. Another plus sized Orlando Area signal caller is Lake Nona's Kevin Sousa, at 6'3 Sousa should attract plenty of interest. Dwyer's Jacoby Brissett won the 4A title as a junior and is a fantastic all around athlete—excelling on the hardwood as well as gridiron. As a QB, there is a long way to go, but his 6'3, 230 size is very intriguing, he could find himself at TE down the road if QB does not work out.

Plant's Phillip Ely and St. Thomas's Jacob Rudock are the top two pure QBs in this class, both possess the mental capacity to play the position and are ahead of the rest in terms of game management skills. Rudock is the bigger of the two at 6'3 and had the better statistical year lighting up the scoreboard with the most TD passes ever thrown for the Raiders. Rudock also excels on the baseball diamond, the most important thing for him is to add some weight and strength. Ely won the 5A Title as a junior, Aaron Murray nor Robert Marve can claim that(both won 4A Titles as seniors). He has a sleight build and stands 6'0, but he seems to be very 'clutch' and we think he still has a ways to go physically.

Staying in the Tampa Area, Jefferson's Quentin Williams threw for more than 3,000 yards and chipped in 500 on the ground, the dual threat athlete is simply a player. Williams has solid size at 6'0, 180, another inch or two would go a long way for him as a prospect. He has rare ability to throw accurately to every level and has the arm strength to make every throw. Robinson's Blake Rice also led a deep playoff run, the QB was the core of the young team. Rice did not put up gaudy numbers, but when asked to pass, he delivered. Tampa Catholic will have a new QB with Christian Green's departure, that QB will be a familiar name, Stevie Weatherford. The state of Florida has seen two other Weatherfords (Drew-FSU and Joe-UCF) in the past decade, he will have big shoes to fill. Armwood's Josh Grady is another QB that's future could be at another position, in his case Safety. Grady is a dual threat type that has had flashes of brilliance, he will need to be more consistent to stay at QB.

Rakeem Cato has transferred from Miami Springs to Miami Central, he will now follow in the footsteps of one of Dade Counties best ever, Jeff Godfrey. Cato is similar to Godfrey, he may not have as strong of arm(nor as accurate), but he put up huge numbers as a junior. Bradenton Southeast's Dyron Speight might be the sleeper in the state, the strong armed junior has terrific accuracy and we expect him to build on a solid junior campaign next year. Speight has the athleticism to run the football, but is more of a pocket passer, he uses his excellent feet to buy time.

Lake Wales Justin Shafer has considerable upside, the big issue with him is that he is considered a top baseball prospect and has offers to play on the diamond(another worry is the MLB draft). Shafer throws like a baseball player, with some time he could clean up the delivery and develop into a big time QB. Another top athlete is Pensacola Catholic's Shaun White, the intriguing play-maker will have an adjustment from the lower classifications of Florida high school football, but has a lot of tools to work with.

Bishop Verot's Jake Kistel threw for more than 2,000 yards and has sub 4.6 speed on a 6'2 frame. He needs to improve his accuracy down the field. Sebring's Matt Grubb finds stud Devin Clarke regularly, he has some potential down the road.

Others QBs of Interest: Alphonso Evans, Lakewood, Geoffrey Bangley, Celebration, Quinton Hitchcock, Vanguard

NOTE: If we missed a player, please send an e-mail to gvogt@scout.com and let us know about them.

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