From humble beginnings in 1999, the Elite 11 has grown to become the premier quarterback competition for high school quarterbacks.
This year’s competition began all the way back in April and consisted of six regional competitions. Those regionals were held in Dallas, Atlanta, Washington D.C., Chicago, San Francisco and Columbus and played host to thousands of high school quarterbacks all vying for the opportunity to travel to Beaverton, Ore. and compete to be named one of the best 11 high school quarterbacks in the country.
The final 18 quarterbacks have been selected by a team of coaches and scouts led by former Super Bowl winning quarterback Trent Dilfer and former NFL quarterback Jordan Palmer.
Over the next two days, Gatorcountry.com will profile each quarterback (in alphabetical order) as we begin our coverage of both the Elite 11 and The Opening this weekend.
Measurables: 6’3” 197 lbs.
Hometown: Scottsdale, Ariz.
High School: Desert Mountain
College Commitment: Texas A&M
Allen is one of the more polished, college-ready quarterbacks in the 2014 recruiting class. While he isn’t a dual threat quarterback by any means, Allen has advanced footwork and moves well in the pocket to avoid pressure.
Allen has a quick, compact throwing motion, adequate arm strength and a very accurate arm. He threw for 3,119 yards, 36 touchdowns and just seven interceptions as a junior.
Measurables: 6’4” 210 lbs.
Hometown: Hebron, Ky.
High School: Conner Senior
College Commitment: Kentucky
A pocket-passer with great size for his age, Baker chose to stay in state and play for Kentucky over offers from Louisville, Indiana, North Carolina, Miami, Tennessee, South Carolina and Ole Miss.
Barker is a pocket passer with a strong accurate arm but has also shown the ability to run the option in high school.
Barker has the measurables, confidence and instincts that you love to see in a prospect but he still needs some polish to be a successful passer at the college level. He’s the centerpiece of Mark Stoop’s 2014 recruiting class.
Measurables: 6’1” 187 lbs.
Hometown: Carrolton, Texas
High School: Creekview
College Commitment: Purdue
Blough comes into the Elite 11 with just three scholarship offers (Purdue, Memphis, New Mexico State). Not as highly touted as most of the final group, Blough will head into Beaverton with a chip on his shoulder and a point to prove.
Blough has a solid, quick release and the ball jumps out of his hand. He has decent mobility and is accurate with the football. He has a calmness about him on the field and directs his team with great poise.
He is an underdog heading into this weekend, but a player who could rise to the occasion and surprise some people.
Measurables: 6’2” 217 lbs.
Hometown: San Jose, Calif.
High School: Bellarmine College Prep
College Commitment: Vanderbilt
You may be wondering, what’s a California kid doing committed to a school in Tennessee? Well, following in his brother’s footsteps, of course. K.J.’s brother Austyn is a redshirt senior at Vanderbilt and the projected starter for the Commodores this season.
K.J.’s tape shows a very poised passer in the pocket that has a strong arm but limited mobility. He shows great touch on his passes and is very accurate when given time to throw.
He plays in a run heavy offense but projects well at the next level.
Measurables: 6’4” 220 lbs.
Hometown: Palo Alto, Calif.
High School: Palo Alto
College Commitment: Undeclared
Chryst is a polished, college-ready quarterback right now. His measurables are off the charts for a senior-to-be in high school and he has the talent to go along with it.
Chryst’s father is the quarterback coach for the San Francisco 49ers and you can tell that Keller has been coached well throughout his career. He is fundamentally sound in all of his mechanics and is a rare high school prospect that works mainly from under center.
Chryst has offers from Alabama, Arizona, Arizona State, Pittsburgh, Stanford, Southern Cal and Utah.
Measurables: 6’3” 205 lbs.
Hometown: Leesburg, Georgia
High School: Lee County
College Commitment: Ohio State
Collier is a very raw quarterback prospect that has given his pledge to Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes (I hear he’s the next Percy Harvin).
Collier has a strong arm and the ball comes out of his hand with some zip. He is accurate but needs to work on his technique and fundamentals. He’s a project quarterback who will take some time to adjust to the college game.
Measurables: 6’5” 235 lbs.
Hometown: Norman, Okla.
High School: Norman North
College Commitment: Alabama
At his size, it would be easy to assume that Cornwell is an immobile player. While he won’t be mistaken for a dual-threat quarterback, he moves very well for his size and is able to escape pressure by moving around in the pocket.
Cornwell has a quick release and the ball flies out of his hand. He has a huge arm, think Joe Flacco or Ben Roethlisberger.
Cornwell committed to Alabama over schools like Arkansas, Auburn, Notre Dame, Miami, Oklahoma and Tennessee.
Measurables: 6’2” 187 lbs.
Hometown: Camp Hill, Pa.
High School: Cedar Cliff
College Commitment: Virginia Tech
This southpaw holds offers from Boston College, Oklahoma State, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Vanderbilt, Virginia and Virginia Tech.
He is not highly touted like the rest of the Elite 11 class and like David Blough, will use this stage to show that he deserves to be mentioned with the big boys.
When he’s given time, Ford can deliver a very catchable and accurate ball. He’s a streaky player who can get into a groove and has a very competitive nature. He has a high ceiling but will need some grooming at the next level.
Measurables: 6’2” 180 lbs.
Hometown: Davidson, N.C.
High School: Davidson Day School
College Commitment: Florida
Grier gained notoriety when he set the national record for passing yards (837) and passing touchdowns (10) in a single game, albeit against questionable competition.
Grier is listed as a pocket passer but is an effective runner at the high school level. He plays primarily out of the shotgun and will have to get used to playing under center more often at Florida.
If Grier sticks with his commitment, he will join Tim Tebow as the only other Elite 11 quarterback to pledge his commitment to Florida.
Grier chose Florida over other offers from Florida State, Oregon, Auburn, North Carolina and Tennessee.