Holy Quarterbacks

<P>Quarterback is a vital position for any football team. The Irish coaches will have plenty of quarterbacks to evaluate this spring as we can't remember a time when so many good quarterbacks appear strongly interested in Notre Dame. Let's take a look at the quarterback position and try to make some sense of all the names floating around out there. </P>

Irish Eyes has been keeping an eye on the quarterback recruiting effort. The Irish landed two solid quarterbacks during their last recruiting campaign, but some feel the Irish need to land a true star at quarterback this recruiting campaign. There are plenty of targets to choose from and luckily many of them seem very high on Notre Dame at the present time.

Let us begin by saying that we do not know who the top targets are at this point. We also don't know if all can get in to Notre Dame. What we do know is what they are saying about Notre Dame, and we've been able to track down film on a number of them to give you our thoughts on some of them.

One of the top candidates will likely be Mark Sanchez. Sanchez is listed at 6-4--we'll give him 6-3. He's got a quarterback's body and is very well-coached. He appeared to be the most polished quarterback we've seen at this point. His footwork is excellent; he has a very quick release and a very strong arm. He's got a good feel in the pocket and appears to make quick decisions. He's what every college coach is looking for in mechanics, physical abilities and feel for the game. It's no wonder USC, Nebraska, Stanford, Texas and Arizona have offered and many more are likely coming. The Irish are one of his favorites and he says he'd like to visit. The Irish better offer soon if they want to stay in the race.

Another California quarterback high on Notre Dame is Chris Turner. The 6-4, 200-pound Turner appears to have all the tools necessary. He has a cannon for an arm, a quick release and moves pretty well in the pocket. He seems to throw the ball well on the run and is an accurate thrower with a nice touch on the long ball. We are surprised he doesn't have an offer as of yet. We are sure they are coming. Turner grew up a Notre Dame fan and the Irish should have a great shot at him. Turner has said he plans to attend the Irish summer camp.

Rob Schoenhoft is another quarterback who has really impressed us. At 6-6, 230 pounds, Schoenhoft is one heck of an athlete. He moves very well in the pocket and has the strongest arm we've seen. He worked from the shotgun from what we saw in a form of the spread offense from what we could see. Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan and Michigan State are just a few that have offered Schoenhoft. He recently told Irish Eyes that Notre Dame and Michigan State were his top two. He won't wait long for an offer as he wants to make an early decision. Schoenhoft is scheduled to attend Notre Dame camp.

Evan Sharpley is another top prospect the Irish are after. He's listed at 6-2, but we feel 6-1 is more likely. Sharpley also has a cannon for an arm. He has excellent mobility and a nice feel for the game. His only downside might be his overall size, but his arm and mobility should make up for that. Both have been good enough for LSU and Iowa to offer Sharpley and many more are likely coming. The Irish remain high on his list and he's planning on attending Notre Dame camp.

Like Sharpley, the only flaw we could find in Sean Price's game is his size. Listed at 6-2, 6-1 is more likely, but he also moves very well in the pocket. He's very comfortable outside the pocket and throws very well on the run. He can also stand strong in the pocket and deliver a strike. He has a strong arm and is just a good overall athlete. He also has a nice touch on the long ball. The biggest compliment I can give Price is that I wouldn't want to coach or play against him. He's got that knack for making plays and his leadership is obvious. Some might shy away because he's slight, but we feel Price is going to win a lot of games as a college QB. Some college coaches will fear passing on him because they'll have to play against him.

Delaware's Gene Delle Donne is another quarterback planning to attend Notre Dame camp this summer. Delle Donne looks all of 6-4. He moves pretty well for his size and is an accurate thrower. He appears to make quick decisions and fires the ball off pretty quick. He also throws well on the run. He's a very solid quarterback with an offer from Duke in fold. Expect more to come for Delle Donne in the future.

Karsten Sween is another California quarterback who's mentioned the Irish high on his list. He's listed at 6-2, 200 pounds and we'd say that is about right. He's a lefty that worked out of the shotgun often. He has a pretty strong arm and throws the long ball well. He moves pretty well in the pocket and makes all the throws. He doesn't have any offers as of yet, but most of the Pac 10 and Notre Dame are on his wish list.

Arkelon Hall is another California quarterback who has the Irish high on his list. He's listed at 6-2, 205 and that looks to be about right. He's got a strong arm and a good feel for pressure in the pocket. He's a little raw with his mechanics but a good athlete that just makes plays. Utah and Washington have offered him already. Hall says he plans to visit Notre Dame this summer.

Pittsburgh's Bill Stull is another top quarterback who's impressed us so far. Listed at 6-4, 190, we'd say he's more likely 6-3 at best. He's not the biggest guy, but he's one heck of a player. Stull has got a very strong arm and is one heck of an athlete. He throws very well on the run and appears to have a real feel for the game. He's been offered by Duke, Kentucky and North Carolina among others. He's not currently listing the Irish as one of his top schools, but we feel the Irish will still recruit him heavily.

Plenty of other top quarterbacks have listed the Irish as one of their top schools. We haven't seen film of them yet so we can't comment, but here's a quick list of other quarterbacks to keep an eye on. Some could wind up as top targets for 2004

Kellen Moriarty---listed at 6-0, 195, he'll likely end up at another position in college. Kellen says he just wants a shot at playing quarterback and will move to another position if that doesn't work out. His father played for Notre Dame and the Irish should be in the race for Moriarty.

Jason Forcier---played in more of a running offense until recently transferring to St. Augustine in San Diego. He was rumored to have recently visited Notre Dame and has the Irish high on his list.

Sean Canfield---recently impressed at a recent Nike camp. Listed as 6-4, 210, he's got all the size needed. He's also said he'd like to visit. His Uncle is also an alumnus of Notre Dame.

Jimmy Barnes----plays for power Los Alamitos. Listed at 6-5, 220 so he's a big guy. The Irish have been recruiting him. He doesn't have any offers yet. He did attend Notre Dame camp last summer.

Michael Coleman---listed at 6-2, 205 with 4.5 speed—known more as a dual-threat quarterback. Many feel he might move to another position but Coleman wants a shot at quarterback. The Irish appear interested and have been by his school. Utah has offered.

Dustin Sherer---an Indiana product who recently impressed us at the Adidas camp at Notre Dame. He looks to be at 6-3 and has a strong, accurate arm. He's also a good athlete that the Irish are pursuing.

This likely won't be the final list and things will likely change in the near future. But, this is a nice list of the top targets the Irish appear to be chasing at the moment. We're sure new names will surface and we might not know of every target at this time. At any rate, the Irish appear to be in good shape with their recruiting of quarterbacks for 2004.


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