Recruiting '06: The field general from Tacoma

<b>THE FIRST PLACE many look when evaluating quarterbacks is the stat line -- yards, TDs -- and the bio page -- height, weight. Just as important to all the measurables is something not found in a box score -- leadership. Tacoma's Jordan Rasmussen, at 6-4 and 200, has the stature but he also has the intangibles. And his coach says he's primed for a breakout year.

In the Pac-10, Rasmussen is seeing the most mail from Washington and Oregon right now. He's also hearing from the likes of Notre Dame, Michigan State, Nebraska and Hawaii. Location, potential early playing time, strength of the football program, academics and a family environment are among the factors which will influence his decision.

"I'd like to play in a pretty big town and be near my family (ideally), but that's not a really big factor," said Rasmussen.

Having attended the junior days at Washington and Oregon, next up are a Stanford or Oregon NIKE camp, summer camps at Eugene and Seattle, and possibly Washington State's. Should he camp at WSU, it'll be the third straight year in Pullman for Rasmussen. Last year, he was able to spend some time visiting with coaches Bill Doba and Timm Rosenbach.

"That was great when we got to interact with some of the coaches," he said.

At the next level, Rasmussen's looking for an open minded coach he can offer input to, someone who's been around the game, knows what it takes to succeed at the next level and can help him get there. "I'm a coachable kid," said Rasmussen.

Academically, Rasmussen carries a phenomenal 3.9 GPA and is considering a career in Sports Medicine.

HIS PREP COACH, the highly respected Bob Lucey, who's sent many players into the collegiate and NFL ranks, says Rasmussen looks ready to burst onto the scene.

"I think he's going to be really, really impressive this year," said Lucey. "He's going to do whatever it takes."

Rasmussen has already impressed a former assistant strength coach with the Atlanta Hawks, said Lucey. The quarterback spent time working out with the trainer who came away marveling at his work ethic and rapid gains.

Still, there will probably be those who can heave it farther and put up bigger numbers on the season -- but Lucey said when the chips are down, Rasmussen is who you want behind center. His savvy, leadership and competitive drive resulted in but one loss in a game he was able to complete in 2004. A great start to the year came to a halt when Rasmussen broke his ankle n the second quarter of the season opener. Prior to the injury, he already had 105 yards and 3 TDs. He would miss the next three games.

"That really impressed me, how he came back," said Lucey. Curtis was 1-3 at the time and Rasmussen, despite limited mobility and substantial pain, tossed on a brace and strapped a carton of tape on it. The ankle would not fully heal until after the season had come to a close.

"I wasn't as mobile as I wanted to be," Rasmussen said with a laugh. "I had to do it, though. I couldn't stand being on the sidelines any more."

Despite the injury, Rasmussen threw for 839 yards with 12 TDs and only 3 INTs. His quarterback rating was 146.7.

IN ORDER TO play at all last year, Rasmussen had to make some substantial adjustments in his throwing motion. He's working this offseason on improving the quickness of his feet and to properly transfer his weight onto his front foot.

And therein lies the key to Rasmussen, said Lucey. When things break down, the quarterback who excels in reading defenses and who never stops working to improve, will find a way.

"He has exceptional work habits on and off the field," said Lucey. "He's a great competitor -- and he's a winner."

Jordan Rasmussen profile

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