LDS Arizona Quarterback on the Horizon

Being a university known for producing quality quarterbacks, BYU is always on the lookout for future gunslingers. One potential prospect is a quarterback that could be one of the best in the state of Arizona by the time he graduates.

BYU has had all kinds of quarterback types within its offensive system, from pure pocket passers to run-and-gun field generals. Parker Rasmussen, a sophomore starter from 5A Highland High School in Gilbert, Arizona, is a combination of both.

"Some of the things that I thought I did well last year was when a pass play would break down and there wasn't any receivers open," Rasmussen said. "I can make better plays on the run or create better angles in the passing game by rolling out of the pocket. I was just able to make plays when things broke down and keep the drive going."

Rasmussen measures in at 6 feet and 175 pounds. He also claims a 4.0 GPA. He played in the toughest division in the state of Arizona, and as a starter for his varsity squad he made plays well beyond his years.

"Yeah, I was 15 years old at the start of the season and then turned 16 towards the end," Rasmussen said. "At first I was a little nervous, but then all the seniors on the team became my best friends. After that it became easy because they all had my back and made it easier for me to make that transition."

Rasmussen played in three games his freshman year before taking over the starting quarterback role his sophomore year.

Rasmussen attended some camps last summer and was named the camp MVP in San Diego. He athletic exploits also extend beyond football.

"This is my first year running track and I played varsity basketball this year, and after basketball track had already been going," Rasmussen said. "I kind of decided to start track at the last minute and I'm doing really well at it in all varsity events. I do the 100 meter sprint, the 200 meters and the 300 meter hurdles. I also do the long jump and the triple jump.

"In the 100 meters I was timed an 11.1, and I don't have an official time for the 200 meters but my hand time is 22.9. My triple jump is a 40'4" and my long jump is a 21'6". My forty time was a 4.52 and they tested my shuttle time last year but I honestly don't remember what it was."

Rasmussen played point guard for his varsity high school basketball team and averaged about 10 points per game. The repertoire of athletic skills within his possession is broad and will aid him as he continues to focus on the one sport he hopes to play at the college level: football. Rasmussen has received some early interest from various universities, including BYU.

"I've gotten some questionnaires and stuff from Utah and I get stuff from Oregon," said Rasmussen. "I get letters from ASU, U of A and I've gotten some from Princeton, Harvard and one from Florida. I've also got some from some smaller schools too. When I've sent back the questionnaires, I've gotten letters for camp invites. Oregon sent me a cool thing about their locker room."

The level of interest is limited due to the fact that he's a sophomore and not above the NCAA grade limit, but he has received questionnaires and camp invites from the aforementioned schools positioning themselves for when the recruiting starting gun goes off. Being LDS and having family members that attended BYU, he is interested in the Cougar program.

"Both of my parents went to school at BYU, and so when I was little all I wore was BYU gear," Rasmussen said. "When I look back on my baby pictures all I'm wearing is BYU stuff. All I ever wanted to do was watch BYU football. After Pop Warner football games, I would come home and take a shower and watch BYU football games. That would be Saturdays.

"Also, BYU attracts some of the best people around and the environment is more suited for people with higher standards. I also have a lot of family that go to BYU and have been pretty good friends with Max Hall. He went to ASU his freshman year and then went on a mission and came back to BYU. He told me that was the best decision he ever made. I was kind of surprised to hear him say that going from a Pac-10 school to a Mountain West school was the best decision he ever made. That's when it really hit me that BYU was the best fit. Max really helped me to understand that."

In fact, Rasmussen has been mentored by Hall since he was in the sixth grade.

"Max [Hall] just kind of talked to me about the type of system they run at BYU," Rasmussen said. "Some of the things that Max taught me that he learned at BYU, I work on with my quarterbacks coach. I'm trying to develop myself in how they do things there. After he came home off his mission, I probably threw with him three or four times a week for about a year. When he went to BYU, he would come down back home and I would go and throw with him whenever he came back.

"He went over a lot of footwork stuff with me and really stressed footwork. For someone who was as young as me, he really stressed footwork so by the time I was a senior I could be the best I could be at having my base down. He taught me a lot about getting my base down so the rest could come later."

Rasmussen's sophomore highlights can be seen at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tHx4gx7wJwQ.


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