Commentary

Sims, Scroggins lead '10 QBs

Originally Published: August 10, 2009
By Tom Luginbill | Scouts Inc.

The quarterback class in 2010 is one of the most difficult to dissect. In our opinion, this group as a whole is what we would term to be a developmental class. We do not use this term as a negative. There are some very promising prospects across the board and a few high-profile players who have been perceived to be college ready, or as ready as you can be.

The 2010 quarterback class has only six prospects in the ESPNU 150 in 2010, no five-star caliber players and just 16 four-star prospects. It became evident throughout the spring and summer as we saw these quarterbacks up close and personal after their initial film evaluation that no one particular player consistently separates himself from the pack. In other words, there are varying opinions on all these prospects amongst our staff and also distinct strengths and weaknesses that make many of them similar in terms of ability level and upside.

However, this is also a position where we could see some serious movement, as well as new entries, in the ESPNU 150 as we proceed throughout the fall leading up to signing day in February. Many of this class' crop of signal-callers ranked within the top 15-20 prospects could be considered interchangeable.

Top prospects

Phillip Sims | Highlights
(Chesapeake, Va./Oscar Smith)
College: Alabama

When you combine the arm, the velocity, the sturdy build and deceptive athleticism, Sims stands out -- particularly on tape. He is patient, precise and can make all the throws. He has been well prepared for the next level; Sims' aptitude and accuracy are at a high level.


Jesse Scroggins | Highlights
(Long Beach, Calif./Lakewood)
College: USC
This USC commit is going to get just what he needs -- a chance to develop and redshirt. His ceiling is high, he can make all the throws and if he progresses at his current rate, the Trojans will be in good shape under center.

Blake Bell | Highlights
(Wichita, Kan./Bishop Carroll)
College: Oklahoma

Raw, physically strapped and well armed, our sentiments on redshirting fit the bill for Bell. Just entering his second full season as a starter in 2009, Bell's ceiling for development may be as high as anyone in the class. All the physical tools are present and at 6-foot-6, he can run!

Robert Bolden | Highlights
(Orchard, Mich./Saint Mary's)
College: Penn State

Bolden is somewhat hampered by a conservative scheme in high school, with limited opportunities in the passing game. But his physical tools and measurables are a perfect fit for the Penn State's Spread HD system. His best football is ahead of him, and he has a nice release.

Devin Gardner | Highlights
(Inkster, Mich./Inkster)
College: Michigan
One of the very few ways to distinguish the difference between Gardner and Bolden is to examine their throwing mechanics. Otherwise, they look like twins in terms of measurables and skill set. This Michigan commit is just what the doctor ordered for Rich Rodriguez.

On the verge

Jake Heaps | Highlights
(Sammamish, Wash./Skyline)
College: BYU
Teach him the offense and let him go. Heaps will need very little refinement. The well-groomed and confident youngster from the Pacific Northwest made a great choice in BYU; he is going to a system perfectly tailored to his strengths.

Barry Brunetti | Highlights
(Memphis, Tenn./University)
College: West Virginia

If Brunetti were a couple of inches taller, we would be talking about a top national recruit. Brunetti is feisty and competitive and he is a very good dual-threat prospect. As we have stated before, he has a great release with excellent velocity.

Andrew Hendrix | Highlights
(Cincinnati/Moeller)
College: Notre Dame

Arguably one of the biggest arms in the class, Notre Dame got a good one in Hendrix. The more you watch this kid on tape, the more impressive he becomes. We'd love to see him focus purely on football from a mechanical standpoint.

Zach Lee | Highlights
(McKinney, Texas)
College: LSU

Depending on what happens with Lee on the baseball diamond, we may not see him hit the gridiron for awhile. His arm and size are extremely impressive, as he can fit the ball into some tight spots.

Don't sleep on these guys

Tyler Bray | Highlights
(Kingsburg, Calif.)
College: San Diego State

Tall, coordinated and deceptively athletic, Bray could find himself in the ESPNU 150 by year's end. The San Diego State verbal commit is on the verge of big things. He is reminiscent of a right-handed, stronger-armed Matt Leinart.

[+] EnlargeChase Rettig
Tom Hauck for ESPN.comChase Rettig's strong arm earned him a scholarship to Boston College.
Tyler Smith | Highlights
(Easton, Pa./Wilson Prep)
College: Maryland

Ralph Friedgen got a steal here and a player that no one really hears about. He threw for 35 touchdowns last year and possesses a lightning-quick delivery. Smith, the top-rated signal-caller from the talent-rich state of Pennsylvania, could push for ESPNU 150 consideration.

Chase Rettig | Highlights
(San Clemente, Calif.)
College: Boston College

With a big senior year at a new high school, which could produce a 3,500 yard season, the strong-armed Rettig could really help his stock. Although Rettig's committed to Boston College, he could see his offer list swell in the coming months.

Brett Nottingham | Highlights
(Danville, Calif.)
College: UCLA

Arm strength may not be Nottingham's greatest trait, but footwork, accuracy and precision are all strengths that make him a perfect fit for Norm Chow's offense at UCLA.

Nuggets

Nick Montana (Westlake Village, Calif./Oaks Christian), Joe's son, is more than a name. The young Nick can play and committing to Washington and Steve Sarkisian will give him a chance to flourish and develop … Chandler Whitmer (Downers Grove, Ill.) has grit and competitive intangibles as a passer and Illinois fans should be pleased … If Jonny Miller (Denver, Colo./Mullen) does not start as a freshman at Syracuse, we will be very surprised … Austin Hinder (Steamboat Springs, Colo.) has the lineage and also the upside to flourish under Jeff Tedford at Cal … Texas is loading up with two QBs in Connor Wood (Houston/Second Baptist) and Case McCoy (Graham, Texas), both are similar, Wood is bigger … June Jones may have found his guy to get SMU over the hump in Steve Kaiser (St. Louis/De Smet Jesuit) … Will someone please put on some film and offer Andrew Manley (Wahiawa, HI./Leilehua) a scholarship? Sorry, Hawaii, I know you are trying to keep him a secret … Biggest arm you don't know about? Chad Dashnaw (San Pedro, Calif./Narbonne). The new transfer should see his stock soar with good players around him.

Tom Luginbill is the national recruiting director for ESPN's Scouts Inc.