Evaluating UCLA Quarterback Targets

May 17 -- We break down two of UCLA's top quarterback targets who turned in great performances in separate 7-on-7 tournaments last weekend...

UCLA whiffed on one-time priority Tua Tagovailoa earlier this spring but that hasn't necessarily doomed the outlook on quarterback recruiting.

The Bruins, in fact, are in quite the position heading into the summer. Five-star Tate Martell, the No. 1 quarterback in the 2017 class according to Scout, is back on the market after his recent de-commitment from Texas A&M. He drew a visit from assistant Marques Tuiasosopo at Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman last week and has high interest in the Bruins, with a trip to campus likely to happen soon.


Three-star Jack Sears recently landed an offer from UCLA after Tuiasosopo saw him throw in San Clemente, Calif., and he too holds the Bruins in high regard.

Sears shined at the Dana Hills AirStrike passing tournament last weekend, making some great throws and showing improvement from how he fared a few months ago at The Opening Regional stop in Los Angeles. He struggled to generate enough zip on his passes then probably due to a lingering injury, but on Saturday looked composed and in control, showing tremendous timing and anticipation on throws of all lengths.

The 6-foot-3, 205-pound Sears did a great job of keeping his feet moving in the pocket to load up and fire away when he saw openings. He displayed a short, compact motion that was easily repeatable, without any wasted movement or hitches. He also seemed at ease when throwing off the wrong foot, again an example of his athleticism given that it's not too common in the passing league setting.


Martell, meanwhile, has earned the reputation as a gunslinger the last two seasons while guiding one of the nation's top high school football programs. He is a tremendous competitor and has one of the strongest arms in the region despite his smaller frame.

Martell uses his legs well to generate power, as evidenced by the 25-yard rope in the graphic above. He made a few of those throws Saturday at the Adidas SoCal Invitational to lead Las Vegas-based 702 Elite to the tournament title, usually putting the ball only where his receiver could get it (see below for perhaps his best throw of the afternoon).

Both Martell and Sears have the mobility to thrive in zone-read schemes, which is always a plus in the modern college landscape. They can roll outside the tackles when plays break down and buy time to find their targets down field. UCLA has obviously moved away from some of those option-read concepts in an attempt to build around Josh Rosen, so the Bruins' recruiting strategy at the position should be interesting to monitor in this cycle and beyond.

Though they could be labeled as dual-threat prospects, Martell and Sears have shown they are more than capable of doing damage in the pocket, and that's something that might be most important for UCLA as it continues its search for Rosen's successor.


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