Unlike other positions where multiple players participate during a single game, barring injury, there is only one quarterback.
Quarterbacks are in charge of the offense and the field generals. A good quarterback can take a bad team a long way. They are the single most important player on a football team and possibly in all American team sports.
Unless you can surround an average quarterback with a lineup of five-star prospects as Alabama has been able to do, having a special quarterback is needed to be a national contender. That makes recruiting the quarterback position that much more important and because of that the top-tier quarterbacks are typically some of the earliest commits in their given class. But what happens after the five-star caliber QBs make their commitments and are off the board?
The quarterback chess game goes into action.
Because teams often only take one quarterback in a particular recruiting class, the 120 or so teams that didn’t land one of the top 5-10 gunslingers re-evaluate and look to the next tier of quarterbacks, searching for the guy that has yet to peak and could become the next star at the college level. Since National Signing Day, 16 of the top 28 quarterbacks have made a college choice with the other 12 having already been committed. Of the top 28, only Scout’s top-rated QB, Tate Martell, is currently on the market after he recently de-committed from Texas A&M.
When quarterback chess pieces move the rest of the board reacts. Just this month on the West Coast there have been a variety of moves including Ryan Kelley de-committing from Oregon and committing to Arizona State, Tua Tagovailoa’s Alabama commitment and Braxton Burmeister’s re-commitment to Arizona.
Similar to a draft board, when one player is chosen, schools turn their attention to the next most attractive option on the board. One of the quarterbacks that has come to forefront of the chess board is Newport Beach (Calif.) Corona Del Mar three-star Chase Garbers. He is the fifth-highest rated uncommitted quarterback, ranked No. 33 at the quarterback position in the 2017 class.
Along with being one of the top-rated available quarterbacks, Garbers stock has blown up with a strong spring showing. He has shown a good arm with a willingness and ability to stick tough throws in tight windows. Garbers has focused on bulking up his frame this offseason to make sure he is sturdy for the fall season, but his primary focus has been on increasing his arm strength.
“You have to have a big arm to play in the Pac-12,” Garbers said.
Garbers has a number of offers from Pac-12 schools, including Cal, Washington and Washington State as well as offers from a variety of schools across the country. USC and UCLA are also two schools that have recently been playing closer attention to Garbers — possibly an effect of Tagavoiloa’s decision to spurn the Los Angeles schools and head to the Southeast. Both local schools, as well as other high-profile programs, such as Texas A&M, have been out to Corona Del Mar recently to watch Garbers in action.
USC quarterbacks coach Tyson Helton stopped by Corona Del Mar to see Garbers throw recently. Garbers will be repaying the favor to USC as he expected to visit campus at some point this week. He hoped to get a better grasp of how he would be used and how he would fit in the Trojans program.
“Just [learn] more about their offense. Just more about their program. A little about the players. Just get around them and see what they're like,” Garbers said.
“I like that they are a little bit spread, a little bit pro,” Garbers said of USC’s offensive system. “You’ve got to have a run game, which is critical. They’re in the Pac-12, which is known for producing quarterbacks, which is also good.”
Could Garbers be the next chess piece on the USC big board? He isn’t afraid to admit that an offer from the Trojans would be momentous.
“It would mean a lot. It’d be pretty big because I'm here in SoCal. My family on my mom’s side all went there. My cousin played there. I have friends that are there, so it would be pretty big.”
Garbers, who plans to commit in late June, recently diced up the competition at the AirStrike 7-on-7 competition at Dana Hills (Calif.), showcasing his fearlessness and ability to spin the ball. Check out Chase Garbers' highlights from the event: