The quarterback class of 2016 continues to grow and we recently saw one of the most promising sophomores in the Upstate in J.L. Mann's Heath Gerrald. Although his sophomore season was cut short due to injuries there's plenty of upside to like about the 6'3 195 pound prospect. Rapidly improving heading towards his junior season Gerrald is starting to hear from schools and its just one reason why he's "UP NEXT" with SCPrepNation.com.
"I played in three games before breaking my throwing hand against Greenwood. I came back against Woodmont with a cast on my hand still but got a concussion. So I ended up playing in a total of 4 games, I played less than ten quarters all together."
Having to sit out a great deal of his sophomore season Gerrald has been working hard to rehab and improve various aspects of his game to be more prepared heading into his junior season.
"My mental breakdown is one of my strengths. I've spent all spring working with my coach breaking down our defense each play in practice to make the right read."
To help further take his game to greater heights Gerrald talked about some areas he's really looking to improve on this off season.
"I definitely want to improve my speed and footwork. That can't ever be too good. Especially since we plan to run the option some this season."
Part of his efforts to get better have come from training with in-state quarterback trainer Ramon Robinson and he told us what aspects of his game as a quarterback have improved the most since the two have been working together.
"My footwork, mechanics, and accuracy have improved working with coach Robinson."
With good size and a nice arm a few regional schools have started to take notice.
"I've talked to coaches from Charleston Southern and Georgia Southern and they invited me to their camp. I've also heard from Stetson, Western Carolina, and some from Clemson. My coach took me and another player to watch Clemson practice and they invited me to their camp too."
J.L. Mann has suffered through some tough seasons recently but the 2016 prospect says he's hoping to help change the culture surrounding the program the next few seasons. He talked about what his goals are for next season.
"We need to make the playoffs. That would be a huge turnaround for our program and we have the potential for it. I want to be named All-State and be offered by D1 schools before my senior year."
Asked if he patterns his game after any particular players Gerrald replied with one of the most popular players in the professional ranks currently.
"Peyton Manning for his ability to break down defenses and limit mistakes. Also Tim Tebow. He had an amazing work ethic and stats back in high school and college."
Having already heard from some schools the 2016 signal caller says there are some others that he'd love to hear from soon.
Gerrald says he'll look very closely at education, early playing time, atmosphere, conference strength, and local support heavily when selecting a college destination.
For more updates with Heath Gerrald keep it right here with SCPrepNation.com!
INSIDE THE NUMBERS...HEATH GERRALD
Bench press: 225 pounds
Squat: 345 pounds
Fastest 40: 4.82 seconds
Follow us on Twitter @SCPrepNation