Strong group of QBs in Santa Barbara

Since 2004, well renowned quarterback coach Steve Clarkson has used the Memorial Day weekend to bring together close to 50 quarterbacks from all over the country to Santa Barbara for his annual QB Retreat.

The crop of quarterbacks ranges from high school juniors all the way down to 4th and 5th graders. There are elite prospects like Harbor City (Calif.) Narbonne's Troy Williams and Elkton Christian Academy (Md.) freshman David Sills mixed in with players who are just trying to learn and get better.

"We call this is a retreat because that's exactly what it is and why it's pretty unique," Clarkson said. "This isn't just for the kids, it's for their family's as well. It's a family vacation combined with the opportunity for the kids to get better and refine their skills on and off the field.

"We've always thought of the quarterbacks we've trained as part of our extended family and this retreat is a big part of that. We want the family's to be able to get to know one another and socialize off the field while the quarterbacks compete in a friendly way on it. It's not cutthroat out here because the guys are friends but at the same time, they're definitely competing against each other every rep."

Over the years, Clarkson has worked with some of the top quarterbacks to come out of the Southern California region including former USC signal callers, Matt Leinart and Matt Cassel, Casey and Jimmy Clausen, who played for Tennessee and Notre Dame respectively, and current college starters Matt Barkley (USC) and Chase Rettig (Boston College).

This year's top group is led by the aforementioned Williams and Sills plus Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian sophomore Brandon Dawkins, Harvard Westlake's (Calif.) Chad Kanoff, La Canada (Calif.) St. Francis sleeper junior Jared Lebowitz and elite Newhall (Calif.) Hart freshman Brady White.

Clarkson broke down what he likes about each of the signal callers and how they can improve.

Troy Williams- "Troy can get a little low in his stance so he doesn't always step in to all his throws. He's very coachable, he can really spin the football and he plays in a great H.S offense and is well coached. He's versatile enough to play in just about any style of offense in college and is a great kid."

David Sills- "He's not close to reaching his potential and just need to continue to mature physically. He's still growing and works hard in the weight room. I would like to see him quicken his release and use his legs a little more but he's on the right track. He has done a great job of handling the pressure put on him ever since he committed to USC so early, you can't teach that."

Brandon Dawkins- "He looks like a baby Cam Newton. He's not as athletic but has a real, powerful arm and has a lot of the other attributes. He just turned 15 and looks like a man physically already. He has great intelligence, a great feel for the game and loves to compete. He can play in any offense, pro style or spread and has great flexibility."

Brady White- "He's going to be special. Like Dawkins, he was never held back a year like so many other quarterbacks. He has a great feel for the position, he's a good athlete, also plays basketball and can really spin the football. He's an incredibly smart kid and already poised beyond his years. Like I said, he's a special talent and should be a huge recruit when he's a senior."

Jared Lebowitz- "Jared is one of the most under-rated quarterback recruits I've seen. He's a very talented athlete, great big kid with a great frame but he's a good athlete as well. He's sneaky fast and can vertical jump 35". He can make every throw, is very smart and can definitely play at the high BCS level."

Greg Biggins has been covering recruiting for over 15 years, covering the West since the mid-1990's and currently serves as a national analyst for Scout.com/FOXSportsNext.
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