Eyes will be on all 30 as they go through the 48 hours with the Elite 11 coaching staff because at the end of it the group will be paired down to 18 for the Elite 11 Finals, which again, for the third year will be part of Nike’s The Opening in July at the Nike World Headquarters and campus in Beaverton, Ore.
Elite 11 head coach Trent Dilfer and a myriad of other quarterback and coaches will be working with the young men that earned their way through regional competition and were either named onsite after the regionals or made their way in with wild card invitations based on their performance.
“We’re really excited about it and, obviously, this is the first time we’ve done it with a semifinal and for us it is a chance to bring more guys in under the umbrella,” said Student Sports and Elite 11 director Brian Stumpf. “You know in the past our process has always gone from a regional like the one you saw in Arlington, where we see the guys for a couple of hours.
"We’ve had to weigh and compare them from different regionals in a war room and now we have an opportunity to bring them all together and let them settle it. It’s not a football game with pads and a score but it is a competition and we see all these guys on the same field. It is a very talented group.”
The interesting aspect of this is the 30 quarterbacks include all types of players including pro style, dual threat, more running quarterback, and West Coast style. Of the 30 quarterbacks, 27 have already been spoken for as those players have committed to some of the best schools in Division I.
“That’s the exciting part of it and get that dynamic dual threat guy and get classroom time with him and see how much he understand the passing game and can read defenses,” Stumpf added. “Some of these guys it is not something they haven’t been asked to do yet. Then with the drop back guys see if they can move and if they have magic in their feet even if it is just in the pocket.”
Oklahoma State fans will be interested as they will be checking out the competition to see if Mike Gundy and Mike Yurcich hand-picked quarterback in the 2016 class in Nick Starkel of Liberty Christian in Argyle, Texas advances.
Starkel was considered the second-best quarterback in both the Arlington and New Orleans regional competitions and was one of the first quarterbacks to receive a wildcard invitation. Since committing to OSU, other schools such as Texas A&M have come after him. Starkel is looking forward to the competition and Stumpf is looking forward to seeing him.
“He is a cool story in that he is really a self-made guy,” Stumpf explained. “He was six-foot and a half, 160 pounds freshman in high school and not really a known quarterback. He has worked really hard and is now a 6-4, 195 pound quarterback that had a strong season at a smaller school and he has emerged. He wasn’t highly touted but he has worked hard and we love his work ethic and his talent. He is one of the more arm talented guys in the class right now.”
You can watch Starkel as he works to be one of 18 quarterbacks still alive and set to travel to Oregon in July for the Elite 11 Finals and The Opening. The competition can be seen streaming on elite11.com. Eighteen is the number the staff will look to trim the group down to by late Saturday or early Sunday.
“We really think all 30 of these guys are Elite 11 quarterbacks,” Stumpf said.
That may be true, but only 18 are still going to really feel like it when the L.A. Semifinal is over.
Woody Barrett, 6-2, 225, Winter Garden (West Orange), Fla. – Committed to Auburn
Anthony Brown, Jr., 6-2, 196, Holmdel (St. John Vianney), N.J. – Committed to Boston College
Shane Buechele, 6-2, 185, Arlington (Lamar), Tex. – Committed to Texas
Zerrick Cooper, 6-2, 203, Jonesboro, Ga. – Committed to Clemson
K.J. Costello, 6-4, 213, Rancho Santa Margarita (Santa Margarita Catholic), Calf. – Committed to Stanford
Messiah deWeaver, 6-4, 215, Huber Heights (Wayne), Oh. – Committed to Michigan State
Jett Duffey, 6-0, 180 Mansfield (Lake Ridge), Tex. – Committed to Texas Tech
Jacob Eason, 6-5 ½, 205, Lake Stevens, Wa. – Committed to Georgia
Feleipe Franks, 6-5, 220, Crawfordville (Wakulla), Fla. – Committed to LSU
Seth Green, 6-2, 202, Allen, Tex. – Committed to Oregon
Jarrett Guarantano, 6-4, 200, Oradell (Bergen Catholic), N.J. – Committed to Tennessee
Dwayne Haskins Jr., 6-3, 198, Potomac (The Bullis School), Md. – Committed to Maryland
Malik Henry, 6-3, 180, Bradenton (IMG Academy), Fla. – Committed to Florida State
Jalen Hurts, 6-2, 196, Channelview, Tex. – Alabama, Arizona, Arizona State, Florida, Houston, Kansas, Kansas State, Minnesota, Oregon State, Purdue, SMU, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Tulane, UNLV, Utah, UTEP, West Virginia
Austin Kendall, 6-2, 210, Waxhall (Cuthbertson), N.C. – Committed to Oklahoma
D’Erig King, 5-9 ½, 170, Manvel, Tex. – Committed to TCU
Brandon McIlwain, 6-0, 200, Newtown (Council Rock North), Pa. – Committed to South Carolina
Kahi Neves, 6-5, 226, Salt Lake City (Brighton), Utah – Committed to Utah
Jamie Newman, 6-4, 215, Graham, N.C. – Committed to Wake Forest
Patrick O’Brien, 6-3, 230, San Juan Capistrano (San Juan Hills), Calf. – Committed to Nebraska
Jawon Pass, 6-5, 220, Columbus (Carver), Ga. – Alabama, Auburn, Louisville, North Carolina, Clemson, LSU, Mississippi State, Missouri, North Carolina State, Ohio State, Mississippi, Texas A&M and more
Shea Patterson, 6-2 ½, 198, Shreveport (Calvary Baptist Academy), La. – Committed to Mississippi
Brandon Peters, 6-5, 205, Avon, Ind. – Committed to Michigan
Anthony Russo, 6-3, 230, Warminster (Archibald Wood Catholic), Pa. – Committed to Rutgers
Nick Starkel, 6-4, 190, Argyle (Liberty Christian), Tex. – Committed to Oklahoma State
Dillon Sterling-Cole, 6-2, 185, Houston (Westfield), Tex. – Arizona State, Boise State, Florida, Houston, Iowa State, Mississippi State, Nevada, Oklahoma State, Texas A&M, UCLA, and Utah
Chazz Surratt, 6-2, 198, Denver (East Lincoln), N.C. – Committed to Duke
Skylar Thompson, 6-2, 193, Independence (Fort Osage), Mo. – Committed to Kansas State
Jake Zembiec, 6-2, 205, Rochester (St. Thomas Aquinas), N.Y. – Committed to Penn State