Stitzell Offers His Views on Missouri Quarterbacks

If you are a fan of any school in the Midlands, but have not yet heard much concerning the name of Skip Stitzell, now may be the perfect time. caught up with the independent quarterback coach, who has worked with four of the premier quarterbacks in Missouri in the Class of 2006. Stitzell also says for all to beware of a quarterback he is grooming in the Class of 2007...

Freeman Grabs the Spotlight
One's ability to dominate the game on the high school level, as well, as the talent he displays in doing so will not go unnoticed. However, it can times be pushed behind the ever almight term "POTENTIAL".

Of all the Missouri quarterbacks available in the Class of 2006, one of the state's best groups in recent memory, Freeman holds the most potential. Thus, he also has continually drawn raves, from individuals even as myself, as being the premier quarterback prospect in Missouri this fall.

"I think the biggest thing you look at with Josh Freeman is he is 6'5 220, and you look no further," commented Skip Stitzell on his thoughts in working with Freeman. "I've had one college coach tell me that I may have more polished quarterbacks with better mechanics, but there is no doubt that Josh is the guy he wants with the potential he shows at the quarterback position."

Freeman has already received multiple scholarship offers, and will be a candidate as the top ranked prospect in the Midlands in our upcoming rankings.

"Josh is a big strong quarterback, who is also very athletic. He has a cannon for an arm, and makes throws out on the field that you probably wouldn't think he'd be able to make. He is going to have work on his mechanics, but there is no doubt in my mind he will be one of the nation's most highly sought quarterbacks," said Stitzell.

Newhart Won't be the Forgotten Man
Cameron, Missouri quarterback Drew Newhart may have not received the same publicity as Josh Freeman to this point, but that could change after given the chance to impress on the summer camp circuit.

"Drew plays the quarterback position as well as any quarterback I've seen in the past several years," said Stitzell. "He knows where to throw the ball, and he knows how to get it there. He has good speed, and excellent field presence. He will take what the defense offers as I remember one game he dropped off 14 screen passes."

"He is not impatient quarterback, and knows to let the play develop. He has very good mechanics, but probably the most important thing with Drew is his competitiveness. He steps up in the big name, and you are taking about a kid that will be named 1st Team All-State in three sports as he is excellent on the basketball court and a very good shortstop in baseball."

Stitzell even went a bit further in comparing Newhart to one of college football's top current quarterbacks.

"I see a lot of Drew Tate (All Big-Ten quarterback at Iowa this past season as a sophmore) in Drew," added Stitzell. "I can remember one play last fall where he had to avoid the rush with someone chasing after him, had to use one hand to hold him up off the ground, and was still able to compete the pass. Whenever the offensive line breaksdown, he is always looking downfield, and still sets his feet and opens his hips to make a good pass."

Newhart increased his completion percentage from 54% in 2003 to 68% in 2004. That has helped draw interest from several schools.

"I know Missouri is very well aware of Drew, and has him on their board right behind Josh. Kansas State has really expresed an interest, and he will attend one day of their camp. As well, he will be going up to Iowa's one day camp, and I know their coaches just received film to finally be able to watch him," stated Stitzell.

Czerniewski Receiving Strong Interest from Big Ten Conference
When it comes to production on the field, no quarterback can out deliver Montgomery County quarterback Eric Czerniewski.

"Eric is the best passing quarterback I have worked with," said Stitzell. "He is the best passing quarterback in Missouri. He has a very quick release, good footwork and vision, and has tremendous guts out on the field in being able to take a hard hit and still make the pass. He is a true gunslinger."

"I can remember after throwing a key interception in a key game last fall, I had a college coach remark on how impressed he was in the fact that Eric came back down on the next series to complete a pass by throwing right back at that cornerback. He has that type of fiery attitude where he will not let you get the best of him."

In talking to Greg Czerniewksi, the father of Eric, it appears that a few Big Ten programs have taken special interest in Eric.

"Michigan State talks to Eric all the time through email," said Mr. Czerniewski. "They run the spread offense like Eric runs, and have said he is one of four quarterbacks they will recruit in this class. Indiana has shown quite a bit of interest, too, and he has heard some from Iowa and Wisconsin."

"We are visiting Northern Illinois on April 23rd, and they were shocked to know they would even have a chance to recruit Eric after watching his film. They are very excited to have him coming on campus, and we are excited to be able to check them out."

Stitzell Offers Quick Scouting Report on Carson Coffman
Another quarterback surely to grab some headlines this fall will be Raymore-Peculiar quarterback Carson Coffman, the son of former Green Bay Packers All-Pro tight end Paul Coffman. He is also the brother of Missouri Class of 2005 signee tight end Chase Coffman.

"Carson really rolls out of the pocket well, and is able to throw on the run," said Stitzell. "He will have to work on his drop back steps, but he knows how to move around well. His ability to throw on the run really displays his overall arm strength, and you cannot question the high school program that he comes from."

Coffman made an unofficial visit this past weekend to check out the Notre Dame Fightin' Irish.

Stitzell Says Beware of Class of 2007 Product
It wasn't long ago that Columbia Rock Bridge produced one of the nation's finest quarterbacks in Chase Patton. Well, it appears Tiger fans, as well as other Midlands fans alike, will want to keep their eyes on Rock Bridge Class of 2007 quarterback Logan Gray (6'3 170 4.6).

"Logan has the potential to be the better of two in comparing himself to Chase Patton," said Stitzell. "Out of the group of quarterbacks I'm working with right now, I think he will have the chance to be the most highly recruited because I got to work with him at an earlier stage, and he is such an unbelievable athlete."

"Iowa is well aware of him, and I know he really likes the Hawkeyes a lot right now. Georgia's former quarterback coach, Mike Bobo, is a former quarterback from Georgia as well has taken strong interest, and he hears a lot from Auburn, Purdue, and Missouri."

Gray threw for more than 2300 yards and 22 touchdowns as a sophmore this past fall, and Stitzell says those numbers will only get better.

"He started this past fall as a 15-year-old following Chase Patton, and was still able to put up great numbers. He was the second best athlete on that team this fall, and has a running back who will likely rival him for recruiting attention as a sophmore in Scott Concannon."

"He still can improve his decision making, but I know he has already learned so much about the position just this off-season. He is beginning to put more touch on his passes and has lifted weights all winter. We are talking about a kid that can throw it 50 to 60 yards flat footed already, and he is just a winner, overall," said Stitzell.

One important note Stitzell wanted to add of the five quarterbacks he is currently helping on route to the division one level is the fact they all hold 3.5 or better GPA's.

Stitzell was born and raised in Des Moines, Iowa. He currently resides in Missouri where he has spent the past five summers working with quarterbacks at Missouri summer camps, as well, as doing the same for Iowa at their summer camps. He is one of the more highly respected quarterback coaches on the prep level, and if you would like more information on his services, please visit

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