UCLA Looking at Local 2016 Quarterback

SEP. 25 -- Las Flores (Calif.) Tesoro junior quarterback Devon Modster is off to a strong start to the season and it resulted in his first scholarship offer on Wednesday...

Devon Modster was one of our favorite quarterbacks over the spring/summer on the 7v7 circuit playing for the FratBoys. He also had a great showing at the Huntington Beach Passing Tournament and threw more touchdowns than incomplete passes in one game we saw.

Modster has a stocky frame that makes him look shorter than he is but he's probably about 6-1.5-6-2 and 215 pounds. He has a very live arm and can put the ball in tight windows while also throwing the deep ball with touch and accuracy as well. He's also a running threat with plus athleticism and is tough to bring down in the open field.

On the recruiting front, Modster was active on the summer camp circuit but went in to his junior season still waiting for his first offer. That changed earlier in the week.

"I got my first offer from Arizona," an excited Modster said on Wednesday. "I'm so excited, this is just an incredible blessing for me, words can't describe it. I got a message on twitter from coach Rod Smith to call him. I called him up and that's when he offered me a scholarship.

"To get this first one is huge and to have it from a school like Arizona make it even better. I've been watching them and they run a similar offense to what we do at Tesoro. The quarterback makes a ton of plays and it's a great system for sure. I won't be able to get out there for a visit during the season but once our season is over, I definitely plan to go take a visit and check them out."

Modster said the Cats in-state rival, Arizona State, is also showing strong interest.

"They're recruiting me hard and it's a great school," Modster said. "They have Brady White coming in but I know there's going to be a good quarterback at any school I go to."

UCLA's Quarterback Coach Taylor Mazzone is planned to see Modster this Friday and the word is that UCLA is interested.

In terms of coming in behind White, or UCLA's incoming Josh Rosen, Modster said, "I'm going to have to work hard to earn a spot no matter where I go so I'm open to anyone right now. I'm just thankful for the opportunity I'm in and excited to see what other schools want to recruit me."

Added Take from BRO's Tracy Pierson:

We saw Modster a couple of times this summer, and now have seen him in two games so far this season.

He's about 6-1, and already fairly built out at about 210. It doesn't appear he has much upside physically -- meaning, compared to other 2016 QBs, he might be closer to his physical ceiling. He clearly will develop physically but might not have as much development physically ahead of him as, say, Westlake's Malik Henry. Modster, though, like Mr. Biggins said, is a true dual-threat quarterback. He has good mobility and is a threat to run with the ball. I think that's key in today's college football, and in UCLA's offense. He has a very strong arm, is able to throw accurately down the field with an easy effort, without having to force it. He's very accurate on all of the short throws -- on swings, slants and digs -- all the bread and butter. What I like most about him is his composure and pocket awareness. He has no fear against a pass rush and will stand in and take a hit. He also is very savvy in finding second receivers, and is able to improvise well. That's a huge key for a quarterback, in my mind -- can you improvise and on the run find a receiver.

It's now to the point that I might actually not hesitate to take him or Henry. Henry is about 6-2, but possibly now 6-2.5. Like I said, Henry has a body that will more than likely fill out, but he's still about 180-185, and I think, given his body type, there is some question if he's able to comfortably get to 215+. Despite what many think, Henry isn't a dual-threat quarterback. He's fairly athletic, but he isn't comfortable running the ball. He has a very strong arm, and can be accurate. But remember, I've watched him at Westlake since the summer of 2013, going into his sophomore year, and, while he's definitely developed, there are some concerns. He's still very much on the front of his learning curve when it comes to decision-making. He gets a bit of happy feet in the pocket, isn't nearly as composed as Modster, and he doesn't improvise nearly as well, getting a bit more rattled when there's pressure.

I like K.J. Costello -- in fact, Costello is kind of a relative of mine (my nephew's daughter's cousin). He's really come on, I think, in the last year, and has developed in many ways. His mechanics have dramatically improved. He throws the ball far more effortlessly than he did a year ago. He has a good arm and accuracy, and has shown a great feel for secondary receivers and putting touch on the ball. Physically, he's a big kid, at 6-4+ and probably 220 already. He has a good body, on one hand, when it comes to durability, but being this big already there is some concern that his body could get bigger naturally -- since he's not a mobile quarterback, by any means.

In other words, there isn't a great deal of separation between the three here. Honestly, when I was the first to write about Henry and recognize that he was a high-level prospect I didn't in any way anticipate that he'd be ranked the #2 quarterback in the nation for 2016. I certainly thought he was good, perhaps top-15ish, but not #1 or #2. I think that ranking came from some impressive performances in the summer 7-on-7 and camps, but Henry has a ways to go in his game awareness, and doesn't have as good a natural feel in the pocket as Modster or Costello, I think. He could definitely get there, and has gotten better from last season, absolutely. But it hasn't been a vast leap that allays all concerns about it.

Henry, though, is leaning hard to Notre Dame at this point. He wears Notre Dame gear practically every day to Westlake. He says he's going to commit soon, in the next several months, and there would have to be a major change of heart if it weren't Notre Dame. I've heard that he really likes UCLA, but wants to get out of Cali for college -- that if UCLA were not local he'd already be committed.

You'd think I'd know more inside info about Costello but I don't, nothing beyond just some basic stuff that he comes from a USC family (not my family :-)), and that USC was his dream school. I know he likes UCLA, too, but I think USC has the main track here. I don't think, though, Costello is any hurry to commit and will watch many programs over the next two seasons.

Modster has that one offer, from Arizona, and Arizona State is showing some strong interest, but I've heard he'd be very open to a UCLA offer.

I'm not saying that Modster is better than the other two because he might be more gettable than Costello or Henry. I'm saying that, in my mind, the difference in the three as prospects is negligible, and that Modster has some qualities that neither Henry nor Costello have.

When it comes to coming a year after Rosen, any 2016 quarterback coming to UCLA is probably looking at sitting behind Rosen -- but maybe not for as long as you might think. Rosen more than likely won't redshirt, so if any 2016 QB does redshirt, he'll be two years removed from Rosen. So, really speculating here, if Rosen is good enough to go pro after his junior season (2017), Modster would be a redshirt sophomore in 2018 when the position is up for grabs. That gives him two years in the program to develop, but if he wins the starting QB spot he has three full years as the starter. That's the same as if he went to Arizona and won the spot after Anu Solomon. That seems like an ideal situation for Modster, given where you project him to be in his development when he gets to college (in fact, it seems ideal for Henry, too, but it might be hard to try to convince the #2 QB in the nation he's probably sitting his first two seasons).

Bottom line, I wouldn't be against UCLA offering Modster and making him a top priority at quarterback.

Bruin Report Online Top Stories