The Atlanta Elite 11 Regional featured some of the top quarterbacks from the Southeast Region in the classes of 2013 and 2014. While a number of the signal callers were already on the radar of fans, and college coaches, one of the very best came out of nowhere to emerge as an early contender for tops at his position nationally for the Class of 2014.
DJ Gillins could be one of the top quarterback prospects in America for the 2014 class.
Not only was D.J. Gillins (Jacksonville, Fla./Eagle's View Academy) one of the standouts in a loaded 2014 class on hand, but one of the tops in any class.
According to Eagle’s View Academy head coach Ryan Keith, he and his coaching staff were not surprised at their star pla.
“We heard he did real well,” Keith said Tuesday afternoon. “We are not surprised. He has all of the intangibles you want in a quarterback, he works hard and he’s really talented.”
The 6-foot-3, 185-pounder threw for 2,667 yards and 31 touchdowns in 2011, leading Eagles View Academy to a 9-3 record, but it wasn’t until recently that he popped up onto the radar of college coaches due to the work of Keith and his staff.
“We have sent out video and information to the majority of colleges around the country. We have received positive feedback. Coach (Charlie) Fisher of Penn State told us he really liked his video and will be by in May. (South Carolina co-offensive coordinator) Steve Spurrier Jr. called and said their quarterbacks coach (G.A. Mangus) really liked the video, and they are coming by next week. Vanderbilt and Washington State have also expressed interest. It’s beginning to pick up.”
Gillins added that he also is seeing the returns of his hard work and that of his coaching staff.
“I’m already hearing from some schools,” Gillins said. “Penn State, Vanderbilt, Oklahoma State, West Virginia, Arkansas and a few others are showing interest. I’m planning to go to camps at Penn State, West Virginia, Middle Tennessee State and maybe some others,”
If there is one offer that could likely end Gillins’ recruitment before it even gets started, it would be from an in-state power.
“My favorite has always been Florida State,” he said. "I like everything about Florida State. They have great tradition, and they have a family thing going on there.”
Along with Gillins ability to throw the ball, and do so in a fluid and smooth manner, his strength and explosive power in his lower body stands out.
“D.J. is a strong 185 pounds,” Keith said. “He power cleans 255 pounds and bench presses 250. We do all Olympic style lifting here, so he is very impressive for his age.”
That impressive explosive power has shown up recently with a season best long jump of 21-feet, and a 35.6-inch vertical leap at a the Orlando Nike SPARQ Combine, as well as a 40.5 power ball toss.
Gillins is not only working hard in the weight room, and the film room with the Coach Keith, but is also starting to put in time with former college quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator.
“D.J. has started working with former Florida offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Ed Zaunbrecher. He worked with him recently for three hours, and will again this weekend.”
Gillins is also planning to be an early graduate. He currently carries an estimated 3.0 core GPA, and will be taking some college level courses as a junior and senior.
Eagle’s View Academy will be in spring practice the entire month of May with its spring game scheduled for May 31 against Jacksonville Episcopal.
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