A Super QB Prospect

One of the top quarterback prospects from the South among the Class of 2004 is Alex Mortensen from Fairburn (Ga.) Landmark Christian High School. Mortensen, 6-2 and 185 pounds, is 18-5 as a starter over the last two seasons and has thrown for 3,428 yards and 37 touchdown passes in those two years. He is a heady signal caller that makes great decisions and is a very accurate passer.

"There are a lot of things that make a quarterback successful," Mortensen said. "Decision making, reads, coverages, vision to see the field, accuracy and so forth. I think I do these things pretty well. There isn't a throw I can't make. I just turned 17 and I am still growing and developing."

Last season as a junior, Mortensen was named to the All-State team after throwing for 2,270 yards, 25 touchdown passes and only six interceptions. He completed 62% (151/241) of his passes while leading Landmark Christian to a 11-1 record and their first region championship. He was also a ball boy for the prestigious Elite 11 Camp last July in California. There, he participated in all the drills with the senior to be quarterbacks.

Mortensen is the son of ESPN NFL analyst Chris Mortensen. The elder Mortensen is one of the best in the business and over the years he has developed many relationships with some of the NFL's great quarterbacks and coaches. And those great quarterbacks and coaches have spent some time working with Alex.

"I have learned a lot of stuff from those guys," said Mortensen. "Phil Simms taught me how to use my legs and body when throwing, Steve Young is real big on footwork, Coach (Mike) Martz is all about the quick release and being graceful, while Peyton (Manning) is real big on the simple things and fundamentals. It has been great to work with them. My parents have been great too and very supportive and encouraging."

On film, Mortensen is impressive. He is very accurate and puts the ball right on the money more times than not. He can throw all the passes, has a nice release, and also throws a very catch-able ball. He has a fluid drop-back although they run the shotgun a good portion of the time. Mortensen has a good arm and shows good mobility, at least more than enough to escape the initial rush and make a play. When it comes to the Xs and Os of the game, Alex is very advanced for a high school junior. He is way ahead of the game when it comes to reading defenses and understanding coverages and he showed that knowledge at last summer's Elite 11 camp.

The bottom line is that this kid makes great decisions with the ball, delivers an accurate pass, understands the game, and is a winner. Those are the ingredients college coaches are always looking for at the game's most important position.

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