Elite 11 Columbus: Recap

Three golden tickets were handed out this weekend at the Elite 11 Regional in Columbus, Ohio. Despite windy conditions, the kids battled and many turned in fine performances. Here is our recap of what happened, who stood out and more.

Worth the Trip

One of our staff's consensus choices as a top performer at the event was Parkway (La.) 2014 product Brandon Harris. He came all the way up from the Bayou and showed his talents. The ball comes out of his hand with a lot of velocity and without looking like it takes a ton of effort. In a group of really good quarterbacks, we felt there was a noticeable arm strength difference when he let go of the football. he also threw it well on the move. He can still be a little more consistent, but he has all the tools.

The Usual Suspects

Many guys who came in committed or holding big time offers lived up to their billing:

- Florida State commit J.J. Cosentino (Pittsburgh Central Catholic, Pa.) was another unanimous decision in our staff top fives. He has the size of a classic dropback passer and the arm strength to go with it. He can make all the throws and get into tight windows, and is a kid we think has a bright future.

- Clayton Thorson (Wheaton North, Ill.), a Northwestern commit, has been nursing a shoulder injury, but did not look rusty at all this weekend. A good sized kid with athletic ability, he showed solid velocity, good accuracy and we were impressed with his ability to take something off of it and throw a catchable ball when he needed to as well.

- One who earned a golden ticket was Kentucky commit Drew Barker (Hebron Conner, Ky.) who we thought did well on Saturday, and then may have been even better on Sunday at the NFTC. He has a nice combination of size, athletic ability as well as accuracy and touch. We'd like to see him continue to become more consistent, but he has a good set of tools for the Wildcats to work with. He was one of the winners of the Golden Gun Accuracy competition.

- Another who showed what he needed to in order to get to Oregon for the Elite 11 final and The Opening was Toledo Central Catholic (Ohio) four-star prospect DeShone Kizer. We felt if there was one guy who has improved the most between last year and this year and even improving within the day, it was Kizer. He's a tall kid. He's smart, steady and he took some of the minor mechanical tweaks the coaches gave him and we could see the difference it made throughout the day.

- Michigan State commit Chris Durkin of Youngstown Ursuline is a big, powerful kid who we thought did well in Chicago, but was better in Columbus. He was one of the kid who had the arm to be able to cut through the wind. He's another who, as he continues to work and polish his game and mechanics up, he will improve quickly because he has the physical tools. He's going to a great situation for him because he won't be rushed in East Lansing.

- We were impressed with Detroit Country Day (Mich.) product Tyler Wiegers, a Rutgers committed. He has gotten bigger and really looks like a college ready prospect now. When he sets his feet and lets it rip, he can make big time, next level throws. We'd like to see him continue to work on throwing on the move, but he throws the ball very well naturally.

- Tyler Harris, from Pierce County (Ga.) has multiple BCS offers. He has a big arm and nice size. Tampa Wharton (Fla.) rising senior Chase Litton is another with size and arm strength. We feel both just need to continue to work on consistency, but the tools are there.

- North Carolina commit Caleb Henderson (Lake Braddock, Va.) is a big, powerful kid who has actually shed some weight, but still has the ability to drive the football and make the necessary throws.

- Brandon Dawkins of Oaks Christian (Ca.) is an uncommitted kid with some BCS offers. He has good size and the ball comes out of his hand with good pace and he showed a good, quick release.

- Although he played wide receiver last year, Louisville commit Reggie Bonnafon of Louisville Trinity shows the tools to develop at quarterback. A great athlete, he can put some zip on the ball and just needs to keep working on polishing up his tools at the position, but he naturally throws the ball pretty well.

- Boston College commit Darius Wade (Middletown, Del.) is an accurate kid who can put touch on it and dropped in some nice deep balls. He doesn't have the big arm some of the guys on this list do, but the football was consistently getting where it needed to go.

- While not the biggest guy out there, Briar Woods (Va.) signal caller Trace McSorley showed why he has major programs looking his way. He has a quick release and threw well on the move.

Showing They Belong

A few guys who maybe didn't have the press clippings of the above group stepped up and put themselves on the radar.

- University School (Fla.) rising senior Sean White has offers, but we thought he was even better than advertised and showed he may be one to add more offers over the next few months. He has a good arm and was on the money for much of the day.

- Scottsdale (Az.) Saguaro's Luke Rubenzer earned an invite to Oregon. He spins it well and was consistently on target throughout the day. He's not a big guy, but he has the tools to be successful on the next level.

- Alex McGough (Gaither, Fla.) is not one many of us had heard of, but he quickly stood out with his consistent spirals and accuracy.

- Miles Wright of Tabor Academy (Ma.) is a tall kid with good athleticism who may even be able to project to another position.

- Clay Holgorsen is another kid who may not have ideal size, but has a nice arm, spins it well and was accurate.

- Ball State commit David Morrison (Ft. Wayne Concordia) has nice touch, and good, consistent accuracy. He's another who isn't the biggest guy out there, but he performed well and was one of the Golden Gun accuracy award winners.

- Ohio commit Joey Duckworth throws a nice ball and has added some bulk and strength to his frame. The Louisville (Ohio) native has a chance to be a good one for the Bobcats.

- Ithaca (Mich.) senior to be Travis Smith is very consistent. You very rarely see a ball come out of his hand that isn't a tight spiral. He throws well on the move and while he may not have a cannon, he can make all the throws.

- Adam Bertke (Marion Local, Ohio) is a tall, pocket passer type who had a nice day. He has a big frame and as he continues to fill that out, he should develop even more pop on his passes, but he had a good performance.

- Others we had noted were Nick Bawden (Los Gatos, Ca.) Adam Robles (Vanguard, Fla.), Colar Kuhns (Calvert Hall, Md.), Chris Little (Evanston, Ill.), Price Wilson (Walton, Ga.), Devon Palomino (Deer Valley, Az.), Giovanni Rescigno (Warren De La Salle, Mich.) and Connor Christiansen (Fishers, Ind.)

The Young Guns

- Green Bay (Wisc.) Ashwaubenon rising junior James Morgan has good size and again impressed us as he did in Chicago with his accuracy and tools.

- Sonny Abramson is just finishing his freshman season, but the Sparta (NJ) Pope John XXIII spins it well and has good accuracy for a young guy. It was easy to see why he has early offers.

- Matthews (NC) Butler's Anthony Ratliff is the next in a long line of top prospects from the school. He's not a big guy, but is a good athlete who can make throws on the move.

- Other underclassmen to watch from the event include 2015 prospects Mitchell Guadagni (Hudson, Ohio), Pat Ford (Walsh Jesuit, Ohio), Ross Bowers (Bothell, Wash.), and Ft. Wayne Bishop Luers (Ind.) sophomore to be Noah Wezensky.


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