QB Prospect Poised for Prime Time

If you're a high school quarterback living in the Sunshine State it's difficult to emerge from the formidable shadow of the Big Three i.e. — Drew Weatherford, Xavier Lee and Cornelius Ingram — all of whom rate among the nation's top 10 signal callers.

The fact Deerfield Beach High School quarterback Brent Schaeffer has managed to escape the talented trifecta's sphere of influence speaks volumes about his passing skills as well as his scintillating speed. For it is Schaeffer's mobility that not only singles him out a from talented triumphant of Florida quarterbacks, it also sets him apart from any signal caller in America this side of Michael Vick.

Truthfully, no one really compares to Vick, especially a high school quarterback. Right? Absolutely. But when you're a 6-2, 200-pound, strong-armed southpaw who passes with an easy over head motion and covers 40 yards in a sizzling 4.47 seconds, comparisons to Vick the Quick are unavoidable.

"When I was real small the first quarterbacks I can remember seeing were Charlie Ward and Randall Cunningham," Schaeffer said when asked to name his athletic influences. "Michael Vick is what they call me down here."

The Deerfield Beach High School senior has done nothing on the field to discourage such comparisons as he led the Bucks to a 49-20 victory in the season opener in which he completed 18-of-23 passes for 280 yards and four touchdowns while adding another couple of TDs on the ground.

You may wonder how someone with such electrifying ability and impressive numbers managed to stay under the radar even in a state teeming with high school football prospects like Florida. Well... it could have something to do with the fact that until he transferred to Deerfield Beach from Ft. Lauderdale Dillard last year, Schaeffer never had the opportunity to start or even log significant playing time. All he managed to do in his first year on the job was throw for 2,475 yards and 31 touchdowns and rush for 765 yards and 15 touchdowns, leading his team to the an 8-2 record and the state's Class 6A playoffs.

During the offseason Schaeffer endeavored to make himself an even better prospect by increasing his size and strength. In the process he sacrificed a productive basketball career and bypassed baseball to concentrate on football.

"The team I played for my sophomore year didn't work as much in the weight room," he said. "When I got here last year I started lifting. I played eight basketball games and averaged 18 points. I sprain my ankle and decided to just concentrate on lifting. I gained 15 or 20 pounds in the offseason. I weigh 200 now and I'm 6-2."

Schaeffer also attended football camps at Auburn, South Florida and a satellite camp of Rutgers refining his technique and sharpening his passing skills. Additionally, he was selected to attend the Elite 11 Camp tryouts in Las Vegas. The result of his offseason efforts is he has increased his bench press to 280 and is dialed in as a pocket passer.

"I'm a dual threat quarterback but I'd rather pass than run the ball," he said. "If I run it, it's usually to make good plays out of bad plays. I run a 4.47 in the 40."

An example of how Schaeffer uses his speed to set up the pass occurred last season when he was caught between two blitzing linebackers while standing tall in the pocket. Schaeffer managed to spin out of the grasp of one linebacker and side stepped the second. Unfortunately, his great escape put him on the opposite side of the field from where his receivers were with a pack of defenders were in hot pursuit. Schaeffer spurted out of reach, reversed his field came all the back to the other side where he uncorked a 50-yard touchdown pass to an opener receiver.

"That was my favorite play," Schaeffer said. "I was really tired after it though."

Schaeffer hasn't grown weary of the pursuit from college recruiters.

" It's been all right," he said of the recruiting process. "l'm real open because I don't know a lot about these schools. I'll wait until the season is over and stuff to take my visits. I'm real open."

Schaeffer is the cousin of former Iowa quarterback and Heisman runner-up Brad Banks and favors leaving Florida to play college football.

"Growing up I probably always rooted for Miami," he said. "I'm not looking at Miami as much because I want to get out of state. I'm looking at Tennessee, Auburn, Oklahoma, Iowa State, South Florida, Michigan, Michigan State, Iowa, Kansas State, Virginia Tech and N.C. State."

That's a lot of schools to be looking at, but Schaeffer is already in the evaluation process.

"When I go through watching them this season and see the type of offenses they run and talk to their coaches, I'll be able to cut the list down," he said. "I'm looking for a spread out system that likes passing the ball. I'm looking for good coaches, good quarterback coaches. I want to go somewhere that can help me get to the next level and get a good education, too."

Schaeffer, who carries a 3.2 grade point average and is fully qualified, plans to major in computer graphic design.

"My mother and my grandmother are both teachers," he said. "My mom is a third grade teacher who has been teaching for 13 years. My grandmother is retired but she was a guidance counselor. They've both instilled the importance of getting a good education in me."

From what he's seen so far Schaeffer is impressed by Tennessee and says the Vols will get an official visit.

"I saw them play on Saturday and I liked them," he said. "I saw in their media guide they signed a lot of good receivers. I will definitely visit Tennessee. I like the opportunity of course, but I also like the history of their quarterbacks. They've done very well with quarterbacks."

If the Vols can sign Brent Schaeffer that history will be in good hands and quick feet.

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