Heading into the camp the biggest question on DuRocher was his speed. While he doesn't appear heavy footed on film, like a lot of drop back passers do, because he prefers to hang in the pocket and throw the ball down field his escapability doesn't jump out at you either. With the way defenses get after the quarterback nowadays the ability to avoid the rush is a big deal to programs and they want solid numbers to back up the film. He should have put any of those concerns to rest on Saturday as he ran a very solid 4.8 40 on grass and followed that up with an even more impressive 4.38 shuttle.
"A lot of people think I'm going to just sit back there and not be able to move," DuRocher said. "I think I showed a lot of people today that I'm a little more athletic than they thought." For a 6'-4" and 195 pound quarterback those numbers, while not spectacular, are very solid. The 40 time shows the coaches that while he chooses not to take off and run a lot, he can if he needs to.
The shuttle backs up what you see on film with his ability to move around inside the pocket and make people miss. A couple of other numbers that should catch coaches' eyes are his 14 reps at 185 pounds on the bench and his vertical leap of 26-1/2". The bench press mark is huge because most quarterbacks are lucky to do it 5 to 10 times, if they even choose to even do it at all, and his vertical jumps shows pretty good athleticism for someone his size.
Being from the State of Washington, or for that matter anywhere in the Northwest, makes it tough to get your due when you are being compared to quarterbacks from California. The kids from down south often get more hype than they deserve and kids from the Northwest tend to be undervalued. With highly rated California quarterbacks like Monte Vista's Kyle Wright, San Leandro's Dennis Dixon, San Ramon Valley's Sam Keller, and Menlo-Atherton's TC Ostrander in attendance DuRocher was definitely going to get his opportunity to show the college coaches and scouts in attendance just how good he is. However, in his mind it wasn't that important, "it really doesn't matter who's the best, we are all going to go somewhere and be successful, rankings don't matter."
Here were some of Johnny's impressions of the other top Quarterbacks:
Kyle Wright – "He was down to earth and a real nice guy, and we ended up talking a lot. I had read about him on the Internet and he said he had read about me as well. It was fun to see him in person."
Dennis Dixon - "He was real laid back, and he kind of just loosens everybody up. He's just out here throwing it around. He's one of the best in the country."
Sam Keller - "He's a good guy, but he is the loud one of the group, he's out here just hoopin and hollering."
On how he was treated by the others and how he felt they all did:
"I was just sitting back because they all know each other and just saying a few things here and there," he said. "They made me feel real comfortable and none of them had big heads, just real down to earth people. We were all pretty even, no one really outshined anybody. It really didn't seem like anyone was on top of their game today."
On what Coach Kurle expects out of him and the team everyday in practice:
"He expects us to win, during practice he expects me to go out and never make a mistake, to never make a bad throw, never make a bad read, he expects our guys to never miss a block, he expects perfection."
On what call that comes in from Coach Kurle that really gets him excited:
"The Outside Deep Post."
Right now offers have come in from Washington, Oregon, Oregon State, UCLA, Arizona, and Stanford. And others are sure to be coming in soon. One coach from the Midwest that we talked to said DuRocher was one of the top 5 kids from across the country he had seen at quarterback this month. Oregon and Washington were his early favorites and that hasn't changed. However, a school that has made up a lot of ground is Notre Dame and they are definitely players in the race for his signature if he was to chooses to leave the Northwest.
With his experience this weekend at Stanford they also moved up the list quite a bit and with his 3.6 gpa he should have no problem qualifying academically for either of those two schools. As is evident by the schools recruiting him, the sky is the limit for DuRocher, but he isn't taking it for granted and he wants to be even better. His main goal is to improve on Bethel's last three finishes at state. In '99 they finished third, in '00 they finished second, and in '01 they finished third again. That elusive number one spot is all he is really concerned about and Johnny we can't blame you.