July 24, 2007

Elite 11 Quarterbacks: The Breakdown

ALISO VIEJO, Calif. - Rivals.com recruiting analysts Jeremy Crabtree and JC Shurburtt are taking in the Elite 11 quarterback camp this week in Southern California. The event features many of the top quarterback prospects in America. Here are Crabtree and Shurburtt's takes on each player after the first two days.

Elite 11 Quarterbacks: The Breakdown
Nick Crissman, 6-3, 193, Huntington Beach (Calif.) Edison

Crabtree: Crissman has been consistent throughout the first two days. He was strong both on Monday and on Tuesday with his accuracy, his drops and his ability to put some zip on the ball. He's a real heady quarterback and takes instruction from Elite 11 quarterback coach Bob Johnson really well.

Shurburtt: Crissman continues to impress with his arm strength and accuracy. He also has a good feel for the game and excellent size. He also appears to be very coachable. Crissman has continued his rise as a prospect, which started with a stellar showing at the Elite 11 regional workout in late June in Las Vegas, where he was the event's top prospect.

Dayne Crist, 6-5, 228, Sherman Oaks (Calif.) Notre Dame

Crabtree: Crist was one of the guys I was really excited to see again. I saw him a few weeks back at the Saugus Under the Lights 7-on-7 Tournament, and he didn't disappoint there, and he's continued that here throughout the first two days. When he wants to, he can really put some zip on the ball. When you plan for how a quarterback should look like physically, Crist would be your blue print.

Shurburtt: Crist has a quick release, excellent size and knows where to go with the ball. He has a great blend of arm strength and accuracy and drops back and sets up well. Because of his size and the type of quarterback he is, Crist will have more NFL potential than any other quarterback on Notre Dame's roster next year, including Jimmy Clausen.

Blaine Gabbert, 6-4, 226, Ballwin (Mo.) Parkway West

Crabtree: We're going to have to have some serious discussions as to whether or not Gabbert is a five-star quarterback. We all knew he had cannon for an arm, but watching him rifle balls all over the field against the best of the best in the nation is pretty amazing. When talking about who's done the best so far, Gabbert would definitely have to be under consideration with a few others.

Shurburtt: Gabbert has a bazooka for an arm and is a big-time athlete. He has prototypical NFL size and his footwork has been good during the first two days. He's a guy that once he develops will thrive in a pro-style offense like they have at Nebraska. Many feel that he's been the class of the event through the first two days.

Mike Glennon, 6-6, 194, Chantilly (Va.) Westfield

Crabtree: Glennon really started to come into his own on the second day of competition. He's got a really nice high release and he is pretty accurate with his throws. I definitely have been more and more impressed with him over the past few days. NC State is getting a very solid, consistent and accurate quarterback with Glennon.

Shurburtt: Glennon has advanced footwork for a guy his size and also throws a nice ball. He can make all the throws right now and has big upside. The brother of Virginia Tech quarterback Sean Glennon will fit in well with what N.C. State is trying to do on offense under the new head coach Tom O'Brien and staff.

Jacory Harris, 6-4, 169, Miami (Fla.) Northwestern

Crabtree: This has been my first real opportunity to see Harris, and I like what I see. He's really doing a great job of listening to the college quarterbacks working the camp as counselors and asking the right questions. He's real eager to get better, and that's only going to make him a better player down the road. I can see why Miami Northwestern went unbeaten last year.

Shurburtt: Harris had a great Tuesday morning session as he threw the ball with excellent velocity and accuracy and seemed to gain a comfort level. Harris put excellent touch on many of his short passes and also completed quite a few longer ones.

Star Jackson, 6-3, 185, Lake Worth (Fla.)

Crabtree: I can see why JC has been buzzing about him for a few months now. I know he kind of went out on a limb early in the process when he made a case for him to be ranked as a four-star player without a lot of schools showing interest. Well, he's definitely worthy of being a four-star player, and he's become one of the hottest targets in the Southeast. Jackson is dripping with so much potential it's amazing. While he's doing everything with his arm in the camp, when you consider how he can hurt you with his feet, it makes him even more special.

Shurburtt: Upside is a key word as it relates to Jackson. He's got good size and his tremendous athleticism is evident. Jackson also has a good arm and has the makings of an accurate passer before all is said and done. He's clearly not an athlete playing quarterback, but rather a quarterback that's an exceptional athlete. I think it's a misguided notion to want to change his position in college.

Landry Jones, 6-4, 224, Artesia (N.M.)

Crabtree: This is my third time seeing Jones in person, and he's definitely in the best shape of his life. I don't know if he was truly ready to compete physically at the Fort Worth NIKE Camp, but he came ready and in shape for the Elite 11. He looks amazing physically. He's got a really strong arm and he connected on some very impressive intermediate routes during the skills competition at the end of Tuesday's session.

Shurburtt: Jones is in much better shape than when I saw him at the TCU NIKE Camp/Elite 11 workout back in the spring. That's helped him because he's much more consistent throwing the football. Jones has good size and good arm strength and can make all of the throws. I could see him developing into a solid quarterback at Oklahoma.

Andrew Luck, 6-4, 210, Houston (Texas) Stratford

Crabtree: Call Luck Mr. Consistent. He's just very good in everything that he does. Good drops, good athleticism, accurate throws, good arm and good everything else. He's also very poised and humble out there. When he gets advice on how to do something better, he definitely absorbs everything and uses it to his advantage on the next repetition.

Shurburtt: Luck continues to impress with his smooth release and accurate passing. He's also got excellent size and seems to soak in the coaching and instruction quite well. While Luck's accuracy is his big strength, he also has good arm strength and has the natural on-field leadership qualities you want in your quarterback. I think he will be the cornerstone of a revived program at Stanford under new coach Jim Harbaugh.

E.J. Manuel, 6-4, 201, Virginia Beach (Va.) Bayside

Crabtree: There's a reason why Manuel is ranked by Rivals.com as the No. 1 quarterback in the country. Manuel has such a quick release it's amazing. He also has this presence about him that's hard to put in words. He's definitely confident in his abilities and is poised beyond his years, but he's one of the most approachable kids in the camp. When challenged by one of the college counselors on Tuesday accuracy, he stepped right up to the plate and delivered. When he was done he flashed his million dollar smile.

Shurburtt: Manuel is the best overall quarterback prospect at this event. I know that a lot of people like to throw out comparisons to guys like Jamarcus Russell, but those just aren't accurate. There really isn't anyone to compare Manuel to because he's so unique. He's a skilled pocket passer with a big arm that feels the game at an advanced level. But he's got the body and athleticism of an NBA small forward and still has tons of upside. Multiple observers have noticed his on-field leadership qualities and he also takes instruction very well.

Kyle Parker, 6-0, 185, Jacksonville (Fla.) Bartram Trail

Crabtree: I really like Kyle Parker. He's definitely grown on me. I first saw him at the EA Sports Elite 11 Regional Quarterback Camp in Las Vegas, and he's even better than what he showed that day. He's got a nice high release point, he's able to put plenty of zip on the ball with his quick compact release and it's also still very accurate.

Shurburt: Every time I see Parker he gets better and better. He has a quick release and throws accurate passes with great velocity most of the time. The thing that will make him dangerous at Clemson is how fast he drops back and gets rid of the ball. The Tigers offense under Rob Spence features a ton of short to medium range passes and Parker has the potential to be lethal there.

Sean Renfree, 6-3, 201, Scottsdale (Ariz.) Notre Dame Prep

Crabtree: I thought Renfree really started to feel comfortable toward the end of the second half of Tuesday's session and it showed. He looked quite impressive in the accuracy challenge, nailing the short and the intermediate pass time after time. He does have a good high release, and you can see there's plenty of potential to work with down the road.

Shurburtt: Renfree has good size and arm strength and has thrown his share of nice passes during the event, particularly toward the end of the day on Tuesday when he appeared to enter his comfort zone. He's going to be a nice player in Georgia Tech's offense.

John Wienke, 6-4, 196, Tuscola (Ill.)

Crabtree: The only left-hander in the camp, Wienke has a great sense of excitement and a definite bounce in his step. He's very enthusiastic and has really enjoyed the challenge of working with and against some of the nation's best quarterbacks. He's extremely accurate throwing to the right and his shorter and mid-range passes as some of the more accurate in the camp so far.

Shurburtt: Weinke, who is the only lefty at the camp, throws a nice deep ball and is good when he is throwing to his right. He's a player that has great intangibles, such as being coachable, showing leadership and having enthusiasm about putting in day's work.

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