At right around six-foot tall Canyon Spring High School ( Las Vegas , NV ) quarterback Devonte Christopher probably wouldn't have been considered ideal in size just five years ago. Since the emergence of signal-callers like Missouri 's Chase Daniel (5-11) and Kansas ' Todd Reesing (5-10) however, that idea has changed.
In the right system, quarterback who aren't long on size, but can move around more than the fading prototypical quarterbacks, who are big, but don't have a lot of mobility, seem to be finding their niche' in college football's elite division.
On paper, Christopher would seem to fit right in.
On the year Christopher averaged almost 300 yards per game passing, amassing 3,285 yards while completing almost 64 percent of his passes. Perhaps the most impressive stat, though, is 44 touchdowns to only nine interceptions for the season. That's passing, but sticking with the theme of dual-purpose QBs, the Las Vegas prep-star isn't falling short there either as he finished second on the team in rushing, totaling 526 yards on 55 carries, Devonte getting into the end zone eight times.
The statistical output was highlighted by a 46-14 trouncing of Valley High School , where Christopher was 13-of-16 passing for 402 yards and six touchdowns
In the first half
Just the numbers alone are a bit mind-boggling, but nowadays those kinds of numbers aren't uncommon as we see them pop up a lot more frequently with the explosion of the spread.
It's a quarterback's best friend, being able to sit back in gun, automatically have a nice look at what the defense is doing and have four to five targets on any one particular play. It's the offense which has propelled Missouri and Kansas to the forefront of the Big 12 North Division and put both in the top two of the national rankings at some point this year.
But with teams like Oklahoma still maintaining conference dominance as teams which don't run the spread, the offense is considered potent, but the amount of titles won attributed to this offense, seem to be few and far between.
With Christopher's numbers, size and offense, he's gotten the almost condemning label of being a "system QB." But for him, he said that simply isn't the case. While they do run out of the gun primarily at Canyon Springs, there's still a little of the old-style thrown in. "It's what we do, but we operate from under center so that defenses can't get caught up in us just doing that one thing," Devonte said. "We try to mix it up as much as we can without getting out of what we do."
What that is, is score.
Averaging close to 50 points a game, Devnote's offense found itself putting points on the board and an almost record pace. There were times during the season where it was almost comical. "I remember the defense would come off the field and it wasn't even a minute and they were back on, because we scored in like one play," Devonte said. "I remember one time we scored so fast the defense really hadn't even gotten a chance to sit down and they were back up and running onto the field."
With his kind of numbers, whether you think he's a system-QB or not, schools are going to come a' runnin. And they have, schools ranging from the UNLVs of the world to Stanford , Colorado , Arizona and Nebraska .
The thing is, and with Devonte's size and speed, all the numbers he put up on offense hasn't stopped schools from looking at him on the other side of the ball. That's where Christopher's recruiting takes a turn. "I'm not looking to play anything but quarterback. That's what I am more comfortable doing and what I want to do." He said.
That takes the list down some, and there seems to be a couple of teams riding the top spot as of right now. "Stanford and Utah are my top two, definitely. I have Nebraska up there, but I really don't know what position they are recruiting me to play."
Of the new Husker staff, Christopher said that he has met linebackers coach Mike Ekeler. But that is it as of right now. Devnote already used his official visit to Nebraska , when he and a host of other recruits came in when Nebraska hosted USC.
He likes the fact that the offense will be the same, but in order for him to really rationalize keeping Nebraska as a serious interest, he wants to know that they still want him, but as a QB. "It's a great program and I have heard a lot of good things about Coach Pelini," he said. "But I'm playing QB and that's it.
"It hurts Nebraska to have to start over when it comes to getting to know the coaches, but I am not ready to drop them off the list yet. I want to see what they have to say and after that, I'll figure out where they fit in."
Christopher currently has a 4.1 GPA