Skyler Mornhinweg is relatively unknown in Gator Country.
The 6-foot-3, 204-pound son of former Philadelphia Eagles offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg, was a late grab by Florida Gators offensive coordinator Brent Pease last season.
The three-star, “dual-threat” quarterback held offers from Alabama, Illinois, Penn State, Stanford and Tennessee, and at one point in time was committed to Stanford and Penn State before pledging to Florida in January 2012.
As a result of the transfer of Jacoby Brissett, Mornhinweg, who spent time as a relatively unknown freshman on the scout team, will be charged with the task of backing up Jeff Driskel, whom has been injured at least once in each of the last two seasons.
In high school, Mornhinweg was a two-way starter and named MVP of the Catholic League as well as to the First Team All-Catholic League three times. As a senior, he threw for 1,546 yards on 110-for-229 passing and 13 touchdowns. Mornhinweg played in the 2012 U.S. Semper Fidelis All-American game.
As a result of Mornhinweg’s late entrance into the class and very little opportunity to see him perform, I decided to do an in-depth film analysis of his high school work, which has hopefully markedly improved.
Watching a highlight tape of a player is not always the best judge of his performance, because, well, they include only highlights. But a keen eye can learn a lot from a just a few short minutes of observation, even if they are highlights.
At 6-foot-3, Mornhinweg is at an ideal height to be successful and has a solid frame that will allow him to bulk up, even beyond his 204-pounds. On tape he only weighs 190-poounds, so the added 14 pounds will certainly help to fill out his lanky figure.
A few things stuck out as positives:
1. He seems to have good accuracy. Whether he is sitting in the pocket or rolling out, Mornhinweg puts the ball on point in short, mid and long-range passes. He does a good job putting the ball in the hands of his receivers, and they don’t often retreat for the ball.
2. He seems to have good vision. While in the video he has a tendency to throw it to his No. 1 target; he does a good job checking down, even a few times down to the third or fourth target.
3. He played in an offense that showcased his ability to run and runs similarly to Driskel, and holds the ball high and tight on said runs.
However, there are a few negatives:
1. His footwork needs improvement. While he stands well in the pocket after dropping back with good offensive line blocking, Mornhinweg often throws off his back foot when he is slightly rushed or rolling out.
2. He has a propensity to push the ball on the deep throws. When a quarterback pushes the ball, it begins to alter its spiral formation and can become difficult to catch. This happens when a quarterback tries to power the ball with his arm and shoulder, rather than by using the torque created at the core and waist.
As Mornhinweg begins to prepare for his redshirt freshman year as the Gators backup quarterback, his biggest asset isn’t necessarily seen in a highlight tape. He has been around football, especially major football, his entire life. His decision-making is likely a result of many hours of film study and his accuracy is likely a result of thousands of hours of catch. While Mornhinweg may never be a starting quarterback for the Gators, he has the skills to be a quality backup and is an SEC-caliber gunslinger.