We just revised and updated our rankings on Scout. Here's a closer look at the top 15 quarterbacks in the 2015 class. Tomorrow, I will break down the running backs from the Sunshine State.
1) Torrance Gibson (Plantation American Heritage)
No. 6 QB in nation
Right now I believe the top quarterback from the Sunshine State is Deondre Francois. But you can’t give up on a kid with the athletic ability like Gibson. He has mechanical and fundamental issues as a quarterback. Gibson hasn’t blown anyone away throwing the football this off-season. Then, when you see him play the game for real, all he does it make plays. Last season Gibson led his high school team to a state title. I remember a year ago we all said that Treon Harris (Miami Booker T. Washington) would never be a signal caller. Yet, the Gators made a huge late push to land him in February and he will be an ideal fit for their new offense as a quarterback. Gibson could be freaky good as a wide receiver or even safety. Then again, with some tweaks to his throwing motion and footwork there’s no telling how good he can become as a quarterback. We won’t know of this one for several seasons. I think he’s BOOM or bust and there’s no in-between.
Recruiting: Tennessee, Auburn, Ohio State, LSU, and Arizona are his front runners.
2) Deondre Francois (Bradenton IMG Academy)
No. 9 QB in nation
The rich got richer last Thursday, as Francois gave his pledge to the Seminoles. They get a very athletic quarterback that’s a pocket passer first. This kid has all the physical tools, mental makeup and competitiveness to be a huge success at the next level. Best of all is that he’s now at IMG where he works with former Heisman Trophy winner and FSU standout Chris Weinke. Weinke is considered one of the best teachers in the business. They run a pro style system and he preaches decision making, decision making and decision making.
Committed to Florida State
3) Dwayne Lawson (Tampa Hillsborough)
No. 28 QB in nation
I see Lawson in a very similar light that I view Gibson; this is a young man that’s high risk but very high reward. Lawson has elite size (6-5) and athletic ability. He’s one of the state’s top high jumpers and also plays basketball. He’s raw and has a very long wind up/release. But he shows a big arm and has a ton of talent and upside. That’s the key word. And when he is committed to football he’s committed all the way and is a sponge and a big film study guy. When you look back at this state quarterback class in a few years he’s a guy that could really emerge. Lawson just needs a season or two to really develop and hone his skills.
Committed to Miami
4) Lamar Jackson (Boynton Beach)
No. 29 QB in nation
I was one of the first guys to jump on the Jackson bandwagon last fall after watching film of Boynton Beach. I asked Geoff Vogt to go see them play. It happened to be the first round of the playoffs versus Miami Central, one of the nation’s most athletic and fastest teams. Vogt told me Jackson was running away from Rocket defenders and played well. Then I saw Jackson at a few camps this off-season and was impressed with his arm. This is a super zone-read quarterback that can be a killer running the football and he’s learning how to be a passer. He has a chance to be scary good in the right scheme in college.
Recruiting: Auburn, Ohio State, Louisville, West Virginia, Nebraska and UCF.
5) DeAndre Johnson (Jacksonville First Coast)
No. 31 QB in nation
There’s no doubt in my mind that Johnson, RIGHT NOW, is the No. 2 or 3 signal caller in the state. But when you project these kids and factor in upside, guys like Lawson, Gibson and Jackson have more. They are bigger, have better arms and are equally or more athletic. Having said all of that, I really like this kid’s game. He really won me over the handful of times I saw him play and throw this spring and summer. Johnson is a dual-threat guy that is a pocket passer first. He plays with poise and when he’s on can drop dimes all over the field. It will be interesting to watch the competition in Tallahassee between Johnson, Francois and Kai Locksley (Baltimore, Md./Gilman).
Committed to Florida State
6) James Pensyl (Land O’Lakes)
No. 52 QB in nation
Here’s what I find so interesting with this kid – with all the arm talent and signal callers out West the Beavers go across the country to the Sunshine State to get their quarterback of the future in James Pensyl. That tells me a lot because I have a lot of respect for Mike Riley and his program. This is a big (6-5) southpaw that has been productive and accurate at this level. When he sets his feet Pensyl shows he can sling it with velocity. Pensyl can also change speed. Don’t let his size fool you. This kid is not a statue. He has a high ceiling.
Committed to Oregon State
7) Daniel Parr (Dwyer West Palm Beach)
No. 59 QB in nation
Parr was about to commit to Miami but Lawson narrowly beat him to the punch. That’s how much the ‘Canes like him. I do as well, especially after seeing him play and win the state semis and finals in December. I saw a quarterback with an above average arm who throws wide receivers open. On the field, with his teammates, he showed me super timing and anticipation. Parr knows where to place the football. I was stunned this off-season to see him only really receive two offers – Miami and FAU. The Owls got a local steal here. My guess is that if Parr plays like he did last year there will be some bigger programs that offer late and try and flip him.
Committed to FAU
8) Tucker Israel (Orlando Lake Nona)
No. 74 QB in nation
Israel is a quarterback that has put up monster numbers. In three years at Lake Nona, Israel has passed for 10,588 yards with 106 touchdowns and 32 interceptions, completing 691-of-1,054 passes. On the ground, he has 836 yards rushing and 14 scores. He’s not very big but highly productive. Much like Parr [above], Israel will not blow you away at a camp or combine but on the field he makes play after play. He looks like a nice fit for the Tiger offense.
Committed to Clemson
9) Ryan Stanley (Pembroke Pines Flanagan)
No. 89 QB in nation
Stanley has good size (6-3/200) and a pretty good arm. Schools like Western Kentucky, FIU and Southern Miss have extended offers. He just needs to play with more consistency and continue to develop his game. He’s not a guy ready to play as a freshman but in time could develop into a solid college player.
Recruiting: Western Kentucky, Southern Miss and FIU
10) Brycen Lee (Mayo Lafayette)
No. 92 QB in nation
Lee’s my pick for the biggest sleeper at this position in the state with the most to gain this season. He has really good size (6-4/170) and possesses a lively arm with talent. Lee lacks consistency and needs a big first half of the season. Still, I see upside with this kid and am a little perplexed at his lack of recruiting action up to this point. As of last month he had scholarship offers from Eastern Kentucky and Troy.
Recruiting: Troy and Eastern Kentucky
11) Deundre Pickett-White (Miami Southwest)
No. 99 QB in nation
At one point Pickett-White was committed to South Florida but he has since opened things back up. I thought he was one of the big surprises at the South Florida Express tryout in January. There, he threw the ball very well. But in events this spring and summer he was very up and down. He lacks ideal size (6-0) but he’s pretty athletic.
Recruiting: Cincinnati, Marshall and South Alabama have offered.
12) Christian Alexander (Lakeland Christian)
No. 105 QB in nation
Alexander stars for former Gator signal caller Wayne Peace at Lakeland Christian. He has good size and athletic ability but lacks a big time arm. This is one kid I would not give up on because he’s young and has plenty of time to add some velocity. He could be a steal for FIU down the line.
Committed to FlU
13) Donovan Hale (Largo)
Hale is one of the better athletes on this list, as he holds offers in both football and basketball. Still trying to figure out if he’s a college quarterback or more of an ‘athlete’ that needs to be a wide receiver or defensive back at the next level. He’s one I will watch very closely this season. Hale has size and a big arm.
Recruiting: Louisville, Virginia Tech, and Wisconsin
14) Brad Mayes (Tampa Berkeley Prep)
Speaking of steals, how about Lehigh landing Berkeley Prep star Brad Mayes? Mayes is a solid quarterback who makes good decisions with the ball. He’s not the biggest cat or has the best arm but he’s intelligent and very effective. It will be interesting to see if any bigger programs jump on him this fall.
Committed to Lehigh
15) Maurice Alexander (Miami Booker T. Washington)
Alexander is a smooth quarterback that has looked good this off-season. Now he will be asked to replace Treon Harris at BTW. He’s not quite the athlete but does possess some skills. Alexander is slight and must get bigger and stronger.
Committed to FIU