Inside the Huddle: Quarterbacks
The State of Florida is known for producing skill position players; receivers, running backs and defensive backs. It has also produced some very good linebackers and defensive ends. When it comes to quarterback there have not be a ton of great ones to come from the state of Florida. While not known for producing quarterbacks there have been a few good ones. Blake Bortles was a relative unknown quarterback that many felt would end up at tight end in college. The Oviedo star ended up not only playing quarterback in college but went in the first round of the NFL Draft. Other names like Teddy Brigewater (Miami Northwestern-1st round), Jacoby Brissett (Palm Beach Dwyer-3rd Round), Paxton Lynch (Deltona-Trinity Christian-1st Round), Stephen Morris (Monsignor Pace-FA), Nathan Peterman (Bartram Trail-5th Round), Jake Rudock (Saint Thomas-6th Round), Trevor Simian (Olympia-7th Round) and Geno Smith (Miramar-2nd Round) all went to high school in the state of Florida, had productive college careers and happen to still be in the NFL. This year there are some players who are not highly rated who could end up having the same type of success in college. Who will be the next Paxton Lynch? Could it be a Brian Maurer or Hayden Wolff both who come from high schools not known for producing NFL talent? We will break them down and you will find out other names who may also end up producing at a very high level.
1) Brian Maurer: West Port-6’4-185: Maurer is a prospect that you go and watch in person and he stands out. He has the size and arm to really catch your eye. He is more of a traditional pocket passer then a dual threat quarterback. Maurer has one thing you need and that is confidence in your ability to make all the throws.
2) Hayden Wolff: Lemon Bay-6’5-200: Wolff is this year’s version of Payton Lynch. He is a relative unknown quarterback. Go watch him in person and you will like what he does. He has the arm to make the throws asked of him. He also does a good job of leading his receivers and is accurate throwing the football down the field. He is another more traditional pocket passing quarterback.
3) David Baldwin: IMG Academy: 6’4-180: Baldwin may very well end up the top quarterback in Florida. We will need to see more of him. He is a very good athlete and can beat you with his legs. Baldwin also has some serious zip on his passes. For those looking for a spread quarterback, Baldwin may be your guy.
4) Charlie Dean: Tampa Plant: 6’1-190: (Committed to UCF): Dean has a real nice arm. He can make every throw asked of him. He does need to take some steam off some of his passes as everyone seems to be 100mph. As his accuracy improves so will his overall game. With the move to Plant, we expect him to put up big time numbers in 2018.
5) Antonio Clary: Jacksonville Sandalwood: 6’2-200: Clary plays quarterback but the odds are he may end up playing another position in college. He is a versatile athlete who can make plays where ever you put him on the field. He will line up on special teams and score touchdowns. He is a guy you get the ball in his hands and get out of the way.
6) Nik Scalzo: Cardinal Gibbons: 5’11-180: Scalzo team was close to playing for a state title last season. This year he brings not only experience but a talented group of offensive players with him. Nik is a kid who can throw the rock around the field. He is a player who is in an offense that fits his skill set. Look for him to be one of the leading passers in Broward County this season.
7) Gio Richardson: Oxbridge Academy: 6’1-185: Richardson play in the state title game stood out to us. He was quite impressive. Richardson is a competitor who does not quit or go down without a major fight. His style of play reminds us of Russell Wilson. He can beat you with his arms or legs. Richardson is a prospect that could blow up this season and see his offer sheet grow.
8)Bryan Gagg-Braden River: 6’3-190: Gagg plays in what may be one of the better offenses in Southwest Florida. He has the size and arm to push the ball down the field. Gagg is going to try and create the big play. He is mobile enough for opposing defenses to have to respect that part of his game.
9) Mariano Valenti: Saint Thomas: 6’2-215: A transfer from the Mid-West, Mariano will have to win the quarterback job. He is a prospect that has the physical tools but the transition down to South Florida may not be smooth. We will see early on if he is the guy to take over the reins at Saint Thomas.
10) Chris Butash: Carrollwood Day: 6’2-185: Butash does not have the strongest arm but he is accurate. He will put the ball where his receivers can catch it in stride and move up the field. He is a prospect we had the chance to watch last season and came away impressed.
11) Maurice Underwood: Miami Central: 6’3-180:(Committed to Marshall): Underwood is a player who made an impact early in his career. This is his senior season and he is on a talented Miami Central team. He is already committed to Marshall but if Underwood has the season we expect that will not be his only offer.
Under the radar: Curt Casteel-Saint Thomas: 6’2-185:, Daniel Richardson: Booker T-5’9-170:, Lorenzo Floyd: Monsignor Pace: 5’9-170, TJ Smith-South Broward-6’1-180, Cariq Rackley: Killian-6’1-180, Jack White: Niceville:6’1-70, Daelen Menard: Chaminade:6’1-160, Kai Patterson-Windermer Prep: 5’11-170, Gavin Screws: Baldwin:6’2-195, Corey Wilsher: North Marion: 6’2-190 and Travis Williams: Lake Gibson: 6’2-175