Quarterback Landscape For 2017 Changing Fast

Within the past 24 hours the landscape of quarterback recruiting has changed drastically. Hang on, Nick Starkel the Elite 11 finalist out of Argyle Liberty Christian in Texas is still committed to the Oklahoma State Cowboys. Breath and don't have a panic attack! The landscape of quarterback recruiting that has changed is for the class of 2017. That's right, a year down the road.

But with the high priority for success in college football riding on getting quality quarterback play the college coaching staffs and recruiting support units are putting a larger than ever premium on finding and locking up the quarterback talent of the future.

In the last 24 hours two quarterbacks from the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex that Oklahoma State and many other schools had evaluated to be superior prospects have made verbal commitments. Denton Guyer's dual standout Shawn Robinson has pledged to the TCU Horned Frogs offensive brain trust of Doug Meacham and Sonny Cumbie, and Mesquite Horn standout thrower Chris Robison, who was recently at the Oklahoma State prospect camp, has committed to Oklahoma.

There is no doubt that those two quarterbacks were high on the Cowboys list and many other schools, especially Robinson out of Guyer as he has the looks of an athlete that could be heading to college this fall. Guyer head coach John Walsh, and the father of Oklahoma State senior quarterback J.W. Walsh, told me that Robinson is the best quarterback he has ever coached. Walsh has had some really good ones.

Last year, as a sophomore, Robinson completed 60 percent of his passes for 2,799 passing yards and 33 touchdowns. He also ran for 1,416 yards and 17 touchdowns for a total touchdown output of 50!

Robison, tough to keep those two names straight, was fabulous throwing the ball at Horn High School, completing 223-of-369 passing for 3,858 yards. He completed 44 touchdowns passes with only 11 interceptions.

There is a danger in locking up the 2017 quarterback in your class early. There is always the chance for injury and some of these players could regress, but other OSU targets known for 2017 have made reservations as well. Bailey Hockman is out of McEachern High School in Powder Springs, Ga., and he has pledged to Georgia and head coach Mark Richt. Kellen Mond is a 6-3, 194-pound standout signal caller at San Antonio Reagan High School that was watching at the Cowboys satellite camp stop in San Antonio with Mary Hardin-Baylor and their coaching staff. Mond is committed to Baylor.

Where does that leave Oklahoma State?

There are still plenty of fish in the quarterback seas and even more will be emerging this fall. For instance, in-state at Lawton MacArthur there is excitement over Anthony Love. Love is 6-4, 195 pounds and really looks the part but has sat behind talented Will Collins, who was a senior last season.

The leading passer in Class 6A in Oklahoma last season was a sophomore as Bixby was led in part to their Class 6A Division II state championship by Tanner Griffin. The 6-0, 180-pound Griffin completed 193-of-317 passing for 3,036 yards with 11 interceptions and 32 touchdowns. Griffin should be even better this season as a junior.

There is also Brandon George of Jones in Oklahoma. The 6-1, 175-pound George completed 129-of-267 last season for 1,365 yards and 11 touchdowns. He should also improve along with others that will emerge.

Out of state there is Miles Fallin of Canyon County, Calif. The 6-4, 178-pound Fallin threw for 2,808 yards and 29 touchdowns leading his team to the playoffs last season. Hunter Johnson (pictured above) of Brownsburg, Ind., is 6-3, 197 pounds and is considered a strong prospect in the Midwest. Cam Roane is another Texan out of Colleyville Heritage, and at 6-2, 196 pounds completed over 65 percent of his passes for 3,085 yards and 33 touchdowns while rushing for almost 400 yards and 9 touchdowns.

The best thing about OSU's quarterback situation is there is no rush for quality quarterback play. J.W. Walsh is a senior who will help out with the late season sensation in Mason Rudolph, who completed 49-of-86 passing for 853 yards and 6 touchdowns in the last three games, two of those wins. I think Rudolph, who in his senior year threw for 4,377 yards with 64 touchdowns and only eight interceptions, was the best high school quarterback in the nation his senior year at Rock Hill Northwestern.

Behind Rudolph is sensational walk-on Taylor Cornelius, who threw for 3,815 yards and 46 touchdowns as a senior in high school.

This spring, Norman North grad John Kolar came on early as part of the 2015 recruiting class. Kolar, who was better than Alabama signee and injured teammate David Cornwell his junior season, came on and led the Timberwolves to the playoffs in Cornwell's absence throwing for 1,675 yards and 15 touchdowns with only two interceptions. Last season with less help, Kolar threw for 2,292 yards with 24 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.

Then there is Nick Starkel, who is committed and he has a rocket arm and can really spin it. He has performed awesome this summer coming off a broken arm that cost him the last part of last season. The Elite 11 staff from former NFL quarterback Trent Dilfer on down feel Starkel has a chance to top all Elite 11 finalist in the competition coming up in July in Beaverton, Ore.

The 2017 class of quarterback recruits are seemingly making quick decisions, but I will stand by the theory that there is still plenty of time to find a good one and end up with a solid option by Feb. 1, 2017.

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