With the 2018 season beginning to wrap up, now is the time of year when many fans and analysts will turn their attention to recruiting.
The 2018 class has some elite players in it, particularly at the quarterback position. In recruiting, most QBs commit early on in the process, leaving schools and players alike trying to find a match around this time of year. However this year is unusual, as four of the top 30 quarterbacks remain uncommitted, and more shakeups could take place in the coming weeks.
Another major change to the recruiting world this year came in the form of an early signing period, which allows recruits to sign their National Letter of Intent from December 20th to the 22nd, as opposed to waiting until February. There’s a ton of talent in this year’s quarterback crop, so let’s take a look at some of the best along with those who remain uncommitted.
[am4show have=’g1;’ guest_error=’sub_message’ user_error=’sub_message’ ]
DUAL, 6’3”, 221 pounds, 5*, Number One Overall Player, Georgia Commit
Simply put, Justin Fields is the best quarterback I’ve ever seen coming out of high school. He could start for most teams across the country right now, and I can easily see him winning a Heisman trophy and being the top overall pick in the NFL Draft.
Fields was a one time Penn State commit :/ who decommited after winning the MVP at Nike’s The Opening over the summer. At his regional Opening, Fields ran a 4.51 forty yard dash, had a shuttle time of 4.16, and posted a vertical of 33 inches for a SPARQ score of 120.
He’s already an elite athlete with NFL size before getting college weight training, which should terrify opposing coaches. However, Fields isn’t a run first quarterback, he can also function as a drop back pro style passer. He has a very strong arm and excellent accuracy. Here’s an example from one of his seven on seven games over the summer:
Yea @justnfields aint bad. This game is hyped with Cam Black vs FSS. pic.twitter.com/F1eM0C7MxL
— Rusty Mansell (@Mansell247) May 29, 2017
That was a VERY tight window:
Fields is reminiscent of his seven-on-seven coach from this very game: Cam Newton. He’s not as physical of a runner as Cam is, but he’s currently faster than Cam and also has three years to get stronger. His arm strength and deep ball accuracy is also similar to him.
One concern about Fields is playing time. Georgia currently has a former five star in Jacob Eason who was benched in favor of Jake Fromm, who was a highly touted four star last year. Fromm has been solid this year as a true freshman, and while Georgia primarily relies on their run game, it’s pretty incredible for them to have been the number one team in the country with a true freshman at QB.
He’ll have a tough competition to win the starting job, but ultimately I think he’ll be starting by some point next year, he’s simply too talented to keep off the field. I don’t typically take quarterbacks in devy, and I rarely take freshman ones. However, I would consider taking Fields as high as the second round in a devy draft next year – he has that much potential.
PRO, 6’6”, 208 pounds, 5*, Number Two Overall Player, Clemson Commit
The man Fields unseated as the number one player was Lawrence. He’s certainly a talented player in his own right, and as a passer he’s very similar to Fields. Lawrence also has a big arm, and excellent deep ball accuracy. Here’s an example of a throw he made that most quarterbacks for a top 25 college team couldn’t make:
Rolling to his left while facing pressure, Lawrence calmy flips the ball 46 yards downfield, putting the ball just past two defenders where only his receiver can get it.
While he’s listed as a Pro Style Quarterback on 247, he’s still a solid athlete, posting a 90 SPARQ score while running a 4.78 forty yard dash. You can see this in his escapability and pocket presence, as he’s able to get past defenders with relative ease. While doing this he is able to keep his eyes downfield, a trait that show how mature he is as a passer as most college quarterbacks don’t do this. He’ll have to add more weight in college, as someone who has his frame should be in the 220 pound range, but that’s not a major concern for someone his age.
Similar to Fields, he’ll have to beat out Kelly Bryant for the starting job next year at Clemson, which may be harder to do as Bryant will be a senior with experience. However, Lawrence should have Clemson fans very excited for the next few years.
The Uncommitted Quarterbacks
As I mentioned above, four of the top 30 QBs are currently not committed to a school, but two of them stand out above the rest. Tanner McKee (4*, number 4 overall QB), Jarren Williams, (4*, number 18 QB) are the two best available on the market.
Williams was a Kentucky commit up until last week, when he decomitted after visiting Miami. Miami currently doesn’t have a quarterback commit in this class, and while Malik Rosier has been capable for the Canes this year, Williams offers more potential. He’s set to visit Ohio State this weekend, who already has 4 star Emory Jones committed, but he is not expected to stick around for long, as a lot of people expect him to end up at Alabama. I’d ultimately like to see him end up at Miami, as it would be the best situation for him in terms of playing time and receiving talent.
McKee is a very interesting case, as he actually won’t start his college career until 2020. He’s a Mormon who plans on taking a two year mission before enrolling in school, so he’s a long way off from being an NFL prospect. He’ll sign in February and will be deciding between Stanford, BYU, Alabama, Texas, and Washington. Stanford is considered a heavy favorite to land McKee, as 100% of the 247 Crystal Ball predictions have him ending up in Palo Alto. He’s a name to remember for the coming years, similar to Tanner Mangum a few years ago.
- 20/20: Josh Jacobs - February 11, 2019
- Bowl Game Previews: December 22nd - December 22, 2018
- Dynasty Fantasy Football Rookie Update: Sam Darnold, QB USC - May 20, 2018