September 12, 2007

2008 Quarterbacks: What's left?

With the recent commitment of Lake Worth (Fla.) quarterback Star Jackson to Alabama, the pickings at the position are beginning to get slim.

Few quarterbacks allow the recruiting process to get into their senior seasons for numerous reasons. Some want to lock in their spot at the college of their choice. Others want to focus completely on their senior year and get the process out of the way. Still, there are a few left - led by the nation's top player, Terrelle Pryor - who are going to take their time.

Pryor clearly is the biggest name left on the quarterback board, and he's in no hurry to make his decision. Pryor (6 feet 6, 230 pounds) took an unofficial visit to Penn State last weekend and knows he'll take official visits to Ohio State and West Virginia. Texas also could get an official visit. Others are in the mix as well, but he hasn't narrowed his list yet. The Buckeyes still are the team to beat, but Pryor plans on deciding on Signing Day.

Following Pryor, the highest-ranked uncommitted quarterback is Indianapolis Ben Davis' MarQueis Gray. Gray has been quiet about of late but has named Minnesota, Michigan State and Oregon as his favorites. Minnesota's quarterback situation and the new spread offense installed by Tim Brewster could give the Gophers the edge right now. Oregon has a commitment from Kelly Page, and Michigan State took two quarterbacks last year.

With Jackson gone in Florida, the focus turns to three quarterbacks who remain uncommitted. Pro-style passer Casey Kelly from Sarasota could end up pursuing a baseball career, but is currently looking for the right fit in a college. He's considering visits to Alabama, Tennessee, North Carolina, Ole Miss and Oregon.

On the dual-threat side, Miami Booker T. Washington's Sancho McDonald is one of the hottest recruits in the Southeast. McDonald had an excellent summer, and his nationally televised performance against Summerville (S.C.) High School was impressive. Rutgers has two quarterback commitments, but D.C. Jefferson (Winter Haven, Fla.) might have to go the prep route. Because of that fact, the Scarlet Knights are heavily involved with McDonald. USF is his other favorite, and the Bulls' upset of Auburn certainly helps.

B.J. Daniels from Tallahassee Lincoln is white-hot; his performance last weekend against Orlando Edgewater likely will bring more offers in addition to recent tenders from Illinois, Minnesota, Ole Miss, Alabama, Iowa State, Indiana, Ole Miss and Kentucky. Minnesota has been on him the longest, but Daniels doesn't appear close to a decision.

A few other quarterbacks from the Southeast remain uncommitted despite numerous offers. Johnston (S.C.) Strom Thurmond dual-threat Aramis Hillary has offers from Mississippi State, East Carolina, Appalachian State and Middle Tennessee State, but SEC programs are keeping an eye on his senior season. Birmingham (Ala.) Briarwood Christian's Barrett Trotter would love to get an offer from Auburn and could be holding out for the Tigers. Duke is his biggest D-I offer at this point, but with a big senior season he could land others. And Louisiana's Randall Mackey and Jordan Jefferson have offers from Mississippi State and Ole Miss, respectively, but neither seems ready to make a decision. Each is hoping to have more options.

In Big 12 country, Teresita (Okla.) Tahlequah's Nathan Stanley has offers from Kansas State, Oklahoma State, Colorado State, Northwestern, Iowa State and Tulsa. He would love to add Arkansas, Florida State and his dream team, Oklahoma, to the list. Stanley likely will visit KSU and OSU, and is waiting to see who else offers before deciding on the rest.

Copperas Cove (Texas) dual-threat Robert Griffin received an offer from Tennessee in August, and the Vols and Houston seem to be the leaders for his services. Tennessee wasn't expected to go on a quarterback, at least not this late in the process, but they were impressed with Griffin's athletic upside. Tennessee signed B.J. Coleman last year.

Two West Coast quarterbacks remain uncommitted and are receiving serious interest. Culver City (California) dual-threat Darius Banks seems to be a heavy lean to Oregon, and the Ducks' exciting offensive performance against Michigan only helps their cause. Kansas State, UConn and Toledo also have offered. Encino (Calif.) Crespi's Kevin Prince seems to have UCLA and Washington as his finalists, with the Bruins holding the slight edge. Washington has had a strong start, but freshman Jake Locker could scare a few quarterbacks away.

Pryor's recruitment will get the most attention, but while most of the biggest names are gone, any of the aforementioned players could make a huge impact for the right team down the line.


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