SAN PABLO, Calif. – Following Friday afternoon’s Elite 11 regional outside of Oakland, coach Trent Dilfer had some strong words to say. He called Friday’s group the most impressive regional event of the year. He also said that as a whole this 2013 class of quarterbacks is the best he’s seen yet.
Max Browne lived up to his billing on Friday.
With such a strong group of quarterbacks competing, it’s fitting that 247Sports’ top overall quarterback prospect was in attendance and that he led the way in the day’s top performances.
1. Max Browne, Sammamish (Wash.) Skyline – Browne has everything you want out of a top quarterback recruit. He’s got legit size, a big-time arm and he’s got the polish and feet that you expect.
Throwing into a brutal headwind much of the day, Browne was one of the few players that didn’t let it affect his accuracy or his spin. He’s got a very high release allowing him to make throws on a trajectory that others can’t utilize. Browne embraced the spotlight as the nation’s top arm and removed any doubt that he is one of the top quarterback prospects we’ve seen come out in a few years.
2. Luke Del Rio, Littleton (Colo.) Valor Christian – It’s beginning to sound like a broken record with Del Rio. This is the third consecutive event that the Valor Christian transfer has made our list of top performers and he is making it clear that with only two offers from Colorado State and Oregon State in hand, he is well undervalued.
On Friday, Del Rio was in front of every drill of the day, eager to compete and set the tone for the rest of the group. He was another prospect that seemed unfazed by the cutting wind and didn’t let it affect the zip on his passes. With his favorite schools of Florida, Alabama and USC all locked up at quarterback, Del Rio is looking for opportunities at any program.
3. Zack Greenlee, Stockton (Calif.) Lincoln – The “sleeper” tag would be relevant for Greenlee who is still waiting on his first scholarship offer. But it’s not as if schools don’t know who he is. Loads of colleges have come through the Lincoln practice fields to see his teammate, recent USC commit Justin Davis. However, no one has yet to pull the trigger on Greenlee.
On Friday the 6-2, 185-pounder demanded some attention. He’s an athletic prospect that moves well inside and outside of the pocket and he throws well on the run. When the pressure was on, in front of the whole camp in a two-minute drill simulation, Greenlee was perfect, throwing poise, composure and accuracy. Look for the spring evaluation period to bring a couple of offers and the summer to bring even more.
4. Isaac Dotson, Newport (Wash.) – Dotson has one scholarship offer to date: Montana. The school closest to becoming number two is Idaho. He looked like a Pac-12 quarterback on Friday.
Dotson is a big, well-built quarterback that looks athletic. He was clean on his delivery, spun the ball well in the windy conditions and has very good feet. There really wasn’t a drill or situation that seemed to make Dotson uncomfortable. While Washington State, Oregon State and others are showing some interest, Dotson is way overdue for major offers.
5. Anu Solomon, Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman – Though he’s not the biggest prospect at around 6-foot, Solomon was really on point all afternoon as a passer. It’s hard not to like the way he slings it around, quietly throwing frozen rope after frozen rope. As a quarterback that has won a lot of games at Bishop Gorman, Solomon has some intangibles but he showed Friday that he has plenty of talent as well.
6. Jared Goff, Greenbrae (Calif.) Marin Catholic – A Cal commit, Goff looked capable and confident all day on Friday. He’s a long athlete that has a high launch point on his football and he delivers it on time and accurately. He throws one of the better deep balls of the event and looks like he has all the tools to add to Cal’s quarterback history.
7. Johnny Stanton, Santa Margarita (Calif.) Catholic – This kid is going to be a great one. Schools can doubt him all they want but, Stanton will make anyone that doesn’t offer him pay on the next level. His delivery isn’t always pretty and he isn’t built like your typical college quarterback but Stanton can make all the throws, he’s extremely coachable and he’s a terror in pads.
Currently he holds a handful of offers with Washington being his biggest, though they are recruiting him as an athlete. I become a bigger believer in Stanton each time I see him.
8. Cooper Bateman, Salt Lake City (Utah) Cottonwood – From snap to release, Bateman was cleaner than any quarterback in attendance. He’s got great feet, he is well-coached and polished, and his delivery looks like you want a quarterback to look like. Once the ball leaves his hand, Bateman had some inconsistent moments on Friday but they could be forgiven due to the windy conditions.
9. Khari McGee, Fresno (Calif.) Edison – Perhaps no quarterback had more to prove on Friday than McGee. A no-doubt prospect on the athletic side, McGee is a little bit raw as a passer but he didn’t look very raw on Friday. He threw the ball well throughout the day and though he had some issues in the middle of the day, he got back on track by the end of the camp and proving himself as a more than capable passer.
With San Jose State and Eastern Washington offers already in, McGee is hoping for more. FAU, Nevada and Oregon State are the programs that are showing the most interest currently and all say that they just want to see him throw before they offer.
10. Jihad Vercher, Los Angeles (Calif.) Salesian – He is small but he is big-armed. Vercher was one of the few sub-6-foot quarterbacks in attendance but you’d never tell by velocity of the football. Vercher’s consistent performance and big arm earned him a spot as a finalist to throw for an Elite 11 Finals invitation.
Finalists and MVP: There were seven finalists that threw at the end of camp to compete for the MVP award and an invitation to the Elite 11 Finals in Los Angeles later this summer. Those prospects were Cooper Bateman, Jihad Vercher, Zack Greenlee, Luke Del Rio, Jared Goff, Max Browne and Johnny Stanton. After a good performance in the final drill and a great camp all-around, Browne earned the MVP and the invite.
The Elite 11 finals will consists of the 24 top performers from the year so there is still an opportunity for other competitors from this event to earn an invite.