Scouting Report: The Battle of the UM Quarterbacks

U-Michigan's commitment Sam Keller and U-Miami's verbal Kyle Wright faced off in a spectacular quarterback shoot-out last Friday -- and our correspondent Don Hoekwater was there! Here is our scouting report on the two great high school quarterbacks -- including several cool pictures.<br><br> Noon revision: larger pics, slightly more text.

"The Battle of the UM Kids" lived up to it's hype and then some. Over 7500 fans flocked to Monte Vista High School (in the East Bay area of San Francisco) on a misty-cool 'Bay evening' this past Friday to watch a fire works display -- cross-town gunslingers U-Michigan-bound Sam Keller vs. U-Miami-bound Kyle Wright were going to shoot it out for the East Bay Athletic League Championship. The expectant atmosphere was electric -- and Keller and Wright were atmospheric. In an epic see-saw battle, Wright's MV (Monte Vista) Mustangs barely out-dueled Michigan recruit Keller's SRV (San Ramon Valley) Wolves 46-44 . This was one of those games where the team that had the ball last won, and MV had the good fortune to be that team.

Let's get right to the stats. The teams racked up nearly a thousand yards of total offense for the game, with SRV totaling 488 yards and MV 510. Keller was 22-37 passing for 343 yards and four touchdowns. Wright more than equaled that with 20-33 for 365 yards and six touchdowns. With those aerials this shootout came down to the last minute. With SRV trailing 40-37 and the clock ticking down to a minute, the Wolves were looking at 4th and seven -- and were well within range of their great field goal kicker Paul Martinez, who had already booted a 50 yarder in the second quarter. But, instead of settling for the tie SRV decided to go for it -- and Keller delivered a strike to Mike Jaeger for the first down. Two plays later Keller hit Jaeger again for what seemed to be the winning score. With 40 seconds left San Ramon was up 44-40. But Kyle Wright and the Mustangs had other ideas.

Keller sets the offense

After the ensuing kickoff Wright promptly hit Kale Turner on a 62 yard pass play that brought Monte Vista down to the San Ramon 10. And with the clock ticking down to four seconds, Wright hit his main go-to guy Sam Desa for the winning score.

Wow. The crowd was left breathless and euphoric -- not just at the home-team victory, but as well at the amazing display they had just witnessed.

After the game Hoekwater talked to Sam's dad, former Michigan star Mike Keller (an All Big Ten DE on Bo's first teams). Mike told him, "While Sam is certainly disappointed with the loss, he left it all on the field."

So, how did two of the country's top QB's match-up against each other? Here's the GoBlueWolverine scouting report.

In a game filled with high expectations and pressure, both players 'stepped forward' and showed fantastic poise and leadership, maturity and confidence. On the 4th and 7 on the last SRV drive, Keller looked-off a receiver to find the open man and threw a pin-point pass under tremendous pressure from the Monte Vista defense. On the game-winning drive, Wright's strike to Turner was drilled through double coverage to the only spot it could have been caught. Both players thrived under the intense pressure.

Keller sets up to drill it!

Both Keller and Wright can move out of the pocket quite well, but as far as running ability the slight edge goes to Wright. He appeared to be the better downfield runner -- though Keller was the better at eluding the rush by scrambling. Keller also stayed in the pocket longer.

Keller drops back

Both quarterbacks see the field extremely well. With both measuring 6-4 neither has a problem being able to spot the open receiver. Both are comfortable staying in the pocket, and both were proficient at keeping their eyes downfield when scrambling.

Sam scans the field

Arm strength is pretty even as well with another slight nod going to Wright. Both throw sweet spirals. Both are very accurate; in a game filled with so much aerial bombardment each QB threw only one interception. Both are capable of threading the needle and neither is afraid of doing so. As we said back in September, Keller has an incredible release and puts just the right touch on the ball for all situations.

Keller launches it!

Before the game, Hoekwater also had a chance to talk with Roger Theder, the former Cal head coach who has worked extensively tutoring both Keller and Wright. He is enamored with both. When asked to compare Keller and Wright he just looked at Hoekwater and smiled. "They are both extremely close." As far as how Sam matched up against current Michigan Freshman and former De La Salle QB Matt Gutierrez, Theder said, "Both were about even at the sophomore level, but Sam has improved much more so than Matt in high school, although a lot of that may have to do with the fact that Matt hurt his hand his junior year, slowing his development. Both are outstanding quarterbacks."

Our overall assessment: to be fair, the edge, though only by a small-sliver, goes to Wright (who by the way is generally rated as the top high school prospect in the country). Michigan will be quite pleased with Sam Keller in the years to come. Field vision, arm strength, accuracy, leadership, and maturity all in one package. And believe it or not, this may not be their last head-to-head battle. No, we don't mean meeting for the BCS championship some day! Much sooner than that -- if things work out as hoped, these two teams will meet again on December 7th in the Oakland Coliseum for the Section Championship. If they do, Don Hoekwater will be there!

The Michigan Insider Top Stories