Top QB Considering Many Schools

One of the top quarterback prospects from the South among the Class of 2004 is Alex Mortensen from Fairburn (Ga.) Landmark Christian High School. Mortensen, 6-2 and 185 pounds, is 18-5 as a starter over the last two seasons and has thrown for 3,428 yards and 37 touchdown passes in those two years.

He is a heady signal caller that makes great decisions and is a very accurate passer. "There are a lot of things that make a quarterback successful," Mortensen said.

"Decision making, reads, coverages, vision to see the field, accuracy and so forth. I think I do these things pretty well. There isn't a throw I can't make. I just turned 17 and I am still growing and developing."

Last season as a junior, Mortensen was named to the All-State team after throwing for 2,270 yards, 25 touchdown passes and only six interceptions. He completed 62% (151/241) of his passes while leading Landmark Christian to a 11-1 record and their first region championship. He was also a ball boy for the prestigious Elite 11 Camp last July in California. There, he participated in all the drills with the senior to be quarterbacks.

Mortensen is the son of ESPN NFL analyst Chris Mortensen. The elder Mortensen is one of the best in the business and over the years he has developed many relationships with some of the NFL's great quarterbacks and coaches. And those great quarterbacks and coaches have spent some time working with Alex.

"I have learned a lot of stuff from those guys," said Mortensen. "Phil Simms taught me how to use my legs and body when throwing, Steve Young is real big on footwork, Coach (Mike) Martz is all about the quick release and being graceful, while Peyton (Manning) is real big on the simple things and fundamentals. It has been great to work with them. My parents have been great too and very supportive and encouraging."

On film, Mortensen is impressive. He is very accurate and puts the ball right on the money more times than not. He can throw all the passes, has a nice release, and also throws a very catch-able ball. He has a fluid drop-back although they run the shotgun a good portion of the time. Mortensen has a good arm and shows good mobility, at least more than enough to escape the initial rush and make a play. When it comes to the Xs and Os of the game, Alex is very advanced for a high school junior. He is way ahead of the game when it comes to reading defenses and understanding coverages and he showed that knowledge at last summer's Elite 11 camp.

The bottom line is that this kid makes great decisions with the ball, delivers an accurate pass, understands the game, and is a winner. Those are the ingredients college coaches are always looking for at the game's most important position.

"I want to check out a bunch of schools this spring and summer. Then I would like to narrow it down to five schools or so. If I find the right fit, I will pull the trigger and commit early. I don't want to waste any time and I don't want too many distractions because I want to focus on my senior year.

"I know I will go with my team to Georgia's camp, one of the Nike Camps and would like to camp at Alabama, Louisville, Maryland and pick some others. Over the next few months, me and my dad will take a ton of unofficial visits.

"There are a lot of things I am looking for like tradition. I care about that and I want to win championships and I want to have success. I also have to like the scheme and I want to play in an aggressive and innovative offense that's always attacking. The character of the coaches and players will be important as well."

Look for the Mortensens to take a ton of unofficial visits in the spring and summer. Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Arkansas, Clemson, Oklahoma State, Louisville, Texas Tech, Cal., San Diego State, Tennessee, FSU, Hawaii, Auburn and others are all high on the visit list. Top Stories