Oklahoma Quarterbacks Show Up At Elite 11

There were six quarterbacks from the state of Oklahoma that made the trip to AT&T Stadium last Sunday to be a part of the Elite 11 regional competition. Only one of those quarterbacks, John Kolar of Norman North, has his future plan stamped out. Kolar made a commitment in early March to Oklahoma State, head coach Mike Gundy and offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Mike Yurcich.

Kolar, who passed for almost 1,700 yards and 15 touchdowns in just half a season as the Timberwolves starter, is 6-4, 190 pounds. He was placed in a high-caliber group at the Elite 11 competiton and likely just missed making the "pressure cooker" final event at the end of the day.

Elite 11 head coach and former NFL and Super Bowl-winning quarterback Trent Dilfer had praise for Kolar, calling him talented and full of energy. Dilfer felt Kolar may have tensed up some going through the Elite 11 format for the first time. Kolar, agreed, as he missed on a few throws and that it was a new experience for him. Overall, he threw the ball well and with plenty of zip.

As for the other five quarterbacks from Oklahoma, you could divide them into two categories. State championship-winning quarterback Cooper Nunley and his competition for the quarterback position at Jenks in Scotty Gilkey Jr., as well as Keaton Torre from Edmond Santa Fe, are all juniors with another two seasons to go in high school.

It was smart of the trio to get a jump and learning about this kind of competition in advance. Tre'Von Cherry of Tulsa East Central and Will Collins of Lawton MacArthur are seniors who are both looking to find a college to extend their football careers. Honestly, both should be able to get that done.

"I think I did good, I know I came out here to compete as hard as I could," Cherry said. "There are a lot of good quarterbacks out here and I did as good as I could. I think it was a good outcome for me. I had a lot of fun and there was a lot of competing going on."

Cherry is 6-0, 180 pounds and is athletic with a 4.7 in the forty, but ask him what kind of quarterback he is and he will tell you a thrower.

"To me, I'm more of a thrower than a runner," Cherry emphasized. "People think I'm more of a runner but I'm a throwing quarterback before running, and I'm very smart and I try to elevate myself every day and get better and better and prove those people (thinking he's a runner) wrong."

Last season, Cherry completed 167 of 293 passes for 2,441 yards with 23 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. In the Elite 11, I watched him plenty and he throws the ball with authority and has good accuracy. He seems like a very sharp young man and the desire is in his eyes.

It's hard not to think about Russell Wilson and Drew Brees when watching Cherry, realizing you don't have to be 6-4 or 6-5 tall to operate a passing offense. His disappointment right now is recruiting where he has yet to pick up a major offer and he is starting to feel a little frustration that those prospects that sometimes have to wait a little time for it to pick up will feel.

"It could be better. I'm not really having anybody right now," Cherry admitted. "I'm looking for a school with a family environment and with education I want to major in physical therapy. As far as an offense, I want a team where everybody loves each other, respects each other, and comes together to play as a team and throw the ball."

For those that do like a taller quarterback then they should like Collins, who is listed at 6-2, 190 pounds but appears to be somewhere north of 6-2 and closer to 6-3. He was going from the Elite 11 on Sunday to Shawnee on Monday for the Class 5A boys regional golf tournament.

Collins did not qualify for state but golf is his second sport and that was evident on Sunday. He throws the ball really well and it is surprising that he has just one Division I offer at this point from Rice. He should be getting much more attention.

"I have the Rice offer and I'm getting some letters from like the University of Oklahoma, Tulsa, Kansas State, and Missouri," Collins said. "I thought I did good today and the coach helped me out with one thing that I was doing wrong. My elbow was a little low, but I started throwing some dimes, I guess.

"Trent Dilfer was very intense and to be a leader you have to step up and he did. I just wanted to go out there and perform well the way he was excited about coaching."

As for the younger players, Cooper Nunley, who threw for 2,074 yards and 26 touchdowns in leading Jenks to the Class 6A state championship, threw better than 70 percent of the quarterbacks at the event. The problem with Nunley is he is 5-10 or shorter.

His teammate in Gilkey Jr., also throws the ball well, and he is 6-4, 195. The size will help with perception and Gilkey Jr., who I wanted to think wasn't as gifted as Nunley, threw the ball just as well. When it rains it pours and Jenks has two really talented quarterbacks that can throw the football.

Torre jumped in last season for Edmond Santa Fe when current OU freshman quarterback Justice Hansen was injured during his senior season. Torre, who is 6-2, 185, threw for 1,297 yards and nine touchdowns in completing an impressive 65 percent of his passes while playing as a sophomore. He also showed up well in the Elite 11.

You would expect all three and more from Oklahoma will be back for the regional next spring.

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