REDONDO BEACH, Calif.- The competitive portion of the 2012 Elite 11 finals got underway Thursday evening at Union High. The players went through the competition session, which featured 7on passing drills with high school and junior college wide receivers and defensive backs. College counselors like Aaron Murray (Georgia), Mike Glennon (N.C. State), Geno Smith (West Virginia) and E.J. Manuel (Florida State) also participated.
The second competition session begins at 7:30 p.m. eastern Friday. While we don’t expect any drastic moves with the 247Sports quarterback rankings for the Class of 2013, here are five players who have shown enough during the sessions to be in the discussion for a move up.
Asiantii Woulard, Winter Park (Fla.)
Woulard has the upside to be a great collegiate football player and a high, high pick in the NFL Draft. He’s 6-foot-4, 205 pounds, runs in the 4.6 range, displays outstanding running ability on film and has a cannon for an arm. He probably compares favorably in terms of type of quarterback to current Virginia Tech signal caller Logan Thomas, who the pro scouts love. Woulard got the parents and fans in the stands excited Thursday night displaying great arm strength and a nice touch on the deep passes he threw. He also rifled it in to coverage a couple of times for completions. Simply put, the South Florida commit has a big, bright future provided he develops and continues to work. He’s still raw with only one year of playing quarterback under his belt.
Anthony Jennings, Marietta (Ga.)
We’ve always known that Jennings was an excellent passer based on his junior film, which is even more impressive when you consider he played most of the season with a knee injury. The LSU commit shined in 7-on-7 competition Thursday, showing off pinpoint accuracy, a quick release and good velocity on his passes. He’s one of two quarterbacks currently committed to the Bayou Bengals and though he was the second one to commit after California passer Hayden Rettig, we aren’t sure that he’s necessarily the No. 2 quarterback in this Tigers’ class. Jennings currently is the nation’s No. 19 pro-style quarterback.
Danny Etling, Terre Haute (Ind.) South Vigo
Indiana quarterback prospects have somewhat of a history in making recruiting analysts look bad. To start with, he’s from the state of Indiana. For every Gunner Kiel or Rex Grossman that we find from that state, there’s a Jay Cutler or Matt Mauck that comes out of nowhere to be an excellent collegiate quarterback and beyond. Etling, who is committed to Purdue (a school that is no stranger to producing quarterbacks), impressed at the Las Vegas Regional Elite 11 workout, earned the invite to Redondo Beach and has been one we’ve been curious about for a month or so now. Thankfully, we have taken an interest here. Thursday, he displayed an excellent arm and good footwork to go along with his excellent size. We think he’s in range of a four-star rating (he’s currently an 87- three points away) and a potential Top247 prospect. He currently is the No. 24 pro-style quarterback prospect.
Davis Webb, Prosper (Texas)
Like Etling, Webb impressed at the Vegas regional and earned an invite. The Texas Tech commit has an excellent, accurate arm and throws with good velocity. He out-performed Oklahoma commit and fellow tall Texan Cody Thomas (who in fairness is transitioning from baseball) in all of the drills on Thursday and won the “Film” award for displaying the best understanding of concepts off the field. This Lone Star State gunslinger could see his ranking, which currently is at three stars, rise a bit. Webb currently is the nation’s No. 30 pro-style quarterback prospect.
Kevin Olsen, Wayne (N.J.) Wayne Hills
Olsen already is the No. 5 pro-style quarterback prospect in the country according to 247Sports, but really one could make a strong argument that he’s right there behind the “big three” of Max Browne, Shane Morris and Christian Hackenberg. The Miami (Fla.) commit has put his arm on display during this event and has shown he can make all the throws with excellent velocity and accuracy. His footwork is good and as the son of a coach, he displays a good understanding of the game. Olsen has a lot of fire and competitiveness in what he does and he will fill out his 6-foot-3, 195-pound frame nicely. He’s the perfect quarterback for the Canes, who need an excellent passer with leadership qualities that can distribute the ball to the speedy playmakers that they sign each and every recruiting cycle. Al Golden and company have a potentially great one here.
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