Each week PrepNewMexico's Jeff Stroud and Scout's Southwest recruiting analyst Jason Jewell will go toe to toe breaking down some of the top players in New Mexico prep football. Here is the rule, we watch the tape then give our take. No discussion until the story is posted. Sometimes we agree, sometimes we disagree. This week we take a look at Manzano QB Tyler Kruger.
The first thing that stood out to me about Tyler Kruger was that nothing stood out to me. Translation: Kruger does not do any one thing great, but he does many things well. As a passer, he does not have a rocket arm, yet he shows the ability to make throws at all distances. At the next level, deep outs may be out of his range, but currently he has enough arm for the high school game. In the Manzano shotgun offense, Kruger is an option in the run game. Much like the pass game, Kruger does not overwhelm, yet he consistently makes plays. Runs to the inside or outside, Kruger finds the seam and has the ability to make the first defender miss.
These areas are augmented by Kruger's knowledge of the game. He is very good at selling the play action fakes, throwing on the run and waiting on receivers. All of these skills allowed the 6-2 170 pound Kruger to amass nearly 2,400 yards of total offense to go with 34 TDs. Manzano had a solid 8-4 campaign last season highlighted by a four game win streak midseason. With Kruger at the helm, there is no reason to believe the Monarchs can't improve on that record.
As I watched more film on the Manzano QB, I liked him more and more. He wasn't a guy that stood out to me in any one area but more of a player that was solid in most. He is fairly mobile but would not call him a scrambler, although I do think he throws on the run pretty well. Kruger has solid mechanics but not great. Decent feet and a decent release. You get my point. Kruger does not have ideal QB size and doesn't play under center much but I think he is a heady high school QB that probably falls in the D2 or D3 prospect category.