ESPN RISE Announces 2008 ELITE 11 Quarterback Field

Originally Published: July 15, 2008
ESPN.com staff

ESPN RISE announced Tuesday the selections for The Elite 11 quarterback event. The event, celebrating its 10th anniversary, provides the nation's top high school quarterbacks with high-level instruction by the best in the business, making it the nation's premier quarterback camp for prep athletes. The Elite 11 will be held in Southern California July 21-24.

The high school quarterbacks were selected through an exhaustive evaluation process, which includes film research and in-person and telephone interviews. More than 1,000 quarterbacks are evaluated annually between ESPN RISE's NIKE Camp and EA SPORTS Elite 11 regional camps.

The 2008 Elite 11 selections are: Tajh Boyd (Phoebus High School -- Hampton, Va.), Richard Brehaut (Los Osos High School -- Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.), Allan Bridgford (Mission High School -- Viejo, Calif.), Raymond Cotton (Meade High School -- Fort Meade, Md.), Garrett Gilbert (Lake Travis High School -- Austin, Texas), Andrew Maxwell (Midland High School -- Midland, Mich.), A.J. McCarron (St. Paul's High School -- Mobile, Ala.), Zach Mettenberger (Oconee County High School -- Watkinsville, Ga.), Aaron Murray (Plant High School -- Tampa, Fla.), Bryn Renner (West Springfield High School -- Lorton, Va.), Tom Savage (Cardinal O'Hara High School -- Springfield, Pa.), Eugene Smith (Miramar High School -- Miramar, Fla.)

Notable Elite 11 alumni include current NFLers Vince Young (Tennessee Titans), Matt Leinart (Arizona Cardinals), Kellen Clemens (New York Jets) , Brodie Croyle (Kansas City Chiefs), Derek Anderson (Cleveland Browns), Kyle Orton (Chicago Bears), Troy Smith (Baltimore Ravens), Trent Edwards (Buffalo Bills), JaMarcus Russell (Oakland Raiders), John David Booty (Minnesota Vikings), Andre Woodson (New York Giants) and many more.

The Elite 11 quarterbacks compete against each other and receive tutelage from top college counselors and Elite 11 coaching staff including Chase Daniel (Missouri); Colt McCoy (Texas); Curtis Painter (Purdue); Bobby Reid (Texas Southern); Mark Sanchez (USC) and Matt Stafford (Georgia).

Past collegiate counselors also include a host of current NFL players: Drew Brees (New Orleans Saints), Carson Palmer (Cincinnati Bengals), Ben Roethlisberger (Pittsburgh Steelers), Jay Cutler (Denver Broncos), Matt Schaub (Houston Texans) and Aaron Rodgers (Green Bay Packers).

Additional biographical information on the 2008 ELITE 11 quarterbacks:

Tajh Boyd, 6-1, 208 lbs., Hampton (Va.) Phoebus
[+] EnlargeTajh Boyd
ESPN.comCould Tajh Boyd be the next Troy Smith?
A competitive, accurate and athletic signal-caller who draws favorable comparisons to former Heisman Trophy winner Troy Smith at the same stage in his career. Boyd emerged as a potential star as a sophomore in 2006, leading traditional Virginia powerhouse Phoebus to a Division 5 state title. He is a very good athlete that is versatile and has a winning record of 26-2 as a starter. Boyd began to impress evaluators at the Chapel Hill Nike Camp in May where he earned camp QB MVP honors, and also threw well at the State College EA SPORTS Elite 11 regional camp. Boyd joins Bryn Renner as the seventh Virginia-bred QB to make the Elite 11 in its 10 years, and marks a third consecutive year that two Commonwealth State QBs have been selected to the Elite 11 ('07  Mike Glennon and E.J. Manuel; '06  Peter Lalich and Tyrod Taylor). Boyd has committed to West Virginia in March over offers from Boston College, Michigan, Tennessee, Virginia, Virginia Tech and many more.

2007 Stats: 131 of 189 passing for 2,046 yards and 25 TDs with just six interceptions in 14 games; rushed for nearly 500 yards and seven touchdowns.

[+] EnlargeRichard Brehaut
Tom Hauck for ESPN.comUCLA commit Richard Brehaut puts tremendous zip on his throws.
Richard Brehaut, 6-2, 206 lbs., Rancho Cucamonga (Calif.) Los Osos
BAn accurate and athletic signal-caller who seems to do everything well. Emerged as a rising junior with a strong showing at the Berkeley EA SPORTS Elite 11 regional camp last spring, where he captured the Golden Gun Accuracy Challenge title. Is a very well-rounded under center, with a strong and accurate arm and a very underrated athletic ability. Impressed this spring at both the Berkeley and Las Vegas EA SPORTS Elite 11 regionals, as well as the Stanford Nike Camp, where he earned QB MVP honors. Brehaut has led his team to back-to-back league titles as a starter in '06 and '07 and is the 26th quarterback from California to be selected to the Elite 11 in the event's 10 years. Brehaut has committed to UCLA in late May over offers from Colorado, Oregon State, Arizona and others.

2007 Stats: 156 of 241 passing for 2,248 yards and 22 touchdowns with eight interceptions in 11 games and rushed for 556 yards and five scores.

Allan Bridgford, 6-3, 213 lbs., Mission Viejo (Calif.)

[+] EnlargeAllan Bridgford
Tom Hauck for ESPN.comAllan Bridgford could be Jeff Tedford's next great signal-caller.
A prototypical pocket passer with ideal size, above average arm strength and solid accuracy. Earned CalHiSports.com sophomore all-state honors in 2006 after passing for over 1,700 yards and 15 TDs despite not taking over the starting job until game six. Bridgeford has good touch on the deep ball and a great pocket presence. A very well-schooled and consistent performer who has a chance to be something special in a couple of years as his body continues to mature. Impressed many evaluators this spring at both the Berkeley EA SPORTS Elite 11 regional camp, as well as the USC Nike Camp, where he earned QB Co-MVP honors. Is the 27th quarterback from California to be selected to the Elite 11 in the event's 10 years. He has committed to Cal in May over Arizona State, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Stanford, Tennessee and others.

2007 Stats: 177 of 288 passing for 2,508 yards and 22 touchdowns with 12 interceptions in 11 games.

Raymond Cotton, 6-4, 218 lbs., Fort Meade (Md.) Meade

[+] EnlargeRaymond Cotton
ESPN.comRaymond Cotton is an athletic signal-caller.
One of the nation's more intriguing quarterback prospects in the Class of 2009, possessing some incredible physical gifts. He's a rare combination of size, power, speed and arm strength. Still very raw mechanically and needs polish, but has a chance to be something very special down the road. Posted a whopping 109.14 SPARQ Rating at the New Orleans Nike Combine this spring and also threw well in drills at both the Tuscaloosa Nike Camp and EA SPORTS Elite 11 regional camp. Father is in the Coast Guard and has recently moved to Maryland after playing his junior seasons at Mobile (Ala.) Faith Academy, where he helped his team to a state title game berth. Cotton committed to Auburn in early April over offers from Purdue, Kentucky, Mississippi State and others.

2007 Stats: Passed for nearly 1,500 yards and 17 TDs, while also rushing for 682 yards and eight touchdowns in 12 games.

Garrett Gilbert, 6-4, 195 lbs., Austin (Texas) Lake Travis

[+] EnlargeGarrett Gilbert
Courtesy The StatesmanGarrett Gilbert is headed for the University of Texas.
A record-setting Texan with tremendous pocket-passing ability and deceptive athleticism. He emerged as a rising junior when he threw for 2,859 yards and 30 touchdowns and impressed on the Nike Camp and EA SPORTS Elite 11 regional tour. He's showed not only great skill but also intangibles and toughness last fall, leading his team to a state title despite suffering a shoulder early in the season that required surgery in the off-season. Despite not even turning 17 yet, is a confident, versatile and productive performer who set Texas state records last fall and should only get better as he matures. Son of former NFL quarterback Gale Gilbert. Committed to Texas way back in February over Texas A&M, Nebraska and a host of others.

2007 Stats: 359 of 555 passing for 4,826 yards and 52 touchdowns with 12 interceptions in 16 games and rushed for 400 yards and six scores.

Andrew Maxwell, 6-3, 192 lbs., Midland (Mich.)

[+] EnlargeAndrew Maxwell
Tom Hauck for ESPN.com Under-the-radar QB prospect Andrew Maxwell is headed to Michigan State.

A nationally underappreciated talent from Michigan who is a very well-rounded pocket passer. Already a three-year starter under center who took his Midland team all the way to the Michigan Division 2 state title game this past fall. A cerebral passer with great awareness and presence on the field  knows his reads and gets the ball out very quickly - also a great student off-the-field with a 4.3 GPA and 28 ACT score. Stood out this spring at both the EA SPORTS Elite 11 regional camp and Nike Camp at TCU in late April, where he overcame several very good Texas QBs to earn MVP honors. Is just the third quarterback from Michigan to be selected to the Elite 11 in the event's 10 years. Committed to Michigan State in early March.

2007 Stats: 134 of 262 passing for 2,024 yards and 18 touchdowns with just seven interceptions in 14 games.

A.J. McCarron, 6-4, 190 lbs., Mobile (Ala.) St. Paul's

[+] EnlargeA.J. McCarron has the game to star in the SEC.
Tom Hauck for ESPN.comA.J. McCarron has the game to star in the SEC.
One of the top quarterbacks to emerge in Alabama in the past five to 10 years. A prolific and productive pocket passer with a strong arm and great decision-making ability who led his team to a state title last fall. An underrated athlete who possesses great upside as he continues to fill out his 6-4 frame. Impressed evaluators at the Las Vegas EA SPORTS Elite 11 regional camp by showing good poise, accuracy and consistency. Threw for nearly 2,000 yards and 25 TDs as a sophomore, and has thrown for a combined 51 touchdowns versus just seven interceptions in his two varsity seasons as a starter. Is just the fourth quarterback out of Alabama to make the Elite 11 in its 10 years, and hopes to join past notables like Brodie Croyle and JaMarcus Russell in the NFL someday. Committed to Alabama in May over offers from the likes of Auburn, FSU, Miami, Oklahoma and Tennessee.

2007 Stats: Hit 145 of 232 passes for 2,532 yards with 26 TDs and just three interceptions.

Zach Mettenberger, 6-5, 224 lbs., Watkinsville (Ga.) Oconee County

[+] EnlargeZach Mettenberger
ESPN.comZach Mettenberger will compete with Aaron Murray at UGA.
A big pocket-passer with perhaps the strongest arm in the Class of 2009. Emerged as a rising junior with a strong showing at the Athens Nike Camp last spring as a quarterback with all the physical tools to be a star at the next level. Has the size and decent feet to move within the pocket, combined with great wrist snap and the rifle-arm to make any throw. Put forth a dominant effort at the recent Tuscaloosa Nike Camp to take home QB MVP honors over a very deep group of signal callers. Threw for 671 yards and four TDs as a sophomore, appearing in five games. Is just the fourth quarterback out of the Peach State to make the Elite 11 in its 10 years, joining notables like Atlanta Falcon reserve D.J. Shockley and recent South Carolina grad Blake Mitchell. Committed to Georgia in February over offers from Florida State, Boston College and others.

2007 Stats: 117 of 189 passing for 1,333 yards and 10 touchdowns with nine interceptions in 11 games.

Aaron Murray, 6-1, 205 lbs., Tampa (Fla.) Plant

[+] EnlargeAaron Murray
ESPN.comAaron Murray can win games with his arms and legs.

A superb talent with all the tools and intangibles to be a star on the next level. Burst onto the scene last fall at Plant in his first year as a starter, setting a state single season record with 51 touchdown passes while leading the Panthers to an 11-2 record on his way to Class 4A all-state and Mr. Football honors. An accurate, well-groomed passer with very underrated athleticism and a strong and accurate throwing arm. Impressed at the Gainesville NIKE Camp in April with a solid showing, taking home camp QB MVP honors. Played some safety as a sophomore behind current Miami freshman QB Robert Marve and also served as an underclassman "ballboy" at last summer's Elite 11. Is the 14th Florida QB to make the Elite 11 in its 10 years. Committed to Georgia over 50 scholarship offers from the likes of Florida, UCLA, Miami, LSU, FSU and many others.

2007 Stats: 201 of 329 passing for 4,013 yards and 51 touchdowns with just seven interceptions. Also rushed 93 times for 932 yards and 12 touchdowns in 13 games.

Bryn Renner, 6-3, 190 lbs., Lorton (Va.) West Springfield

[+] EnlargeBryn Renner
Tom Hauck for ESPN.comNorth Carolina pledge Bryn Renner has the size and athleticism to develop into a great college quarterback.

Bio: A rangy, athletic quarterback with great potential as he continues to fill out and get stronger. Exploded onto the Virginia football scene last fall in his first season at quarterback, accounting for over 3,300 yards of offense and 42 TDs while leading his team to a 10-3 mark and a berth in the region finals. Has good feet and accuracy and throws very well on the move when flushed from the pocket. Impressed at the Las Vegas EA SPORTS Elite 11 regional camp, where he captured the EA SPORTS Accuracy Challenge title and took home the golden jersey. Starred at wide receiver as a freshman and sophomore, catching a combined 95 passes for 1,332 yards and 11 TDs. Also stars in baseball and basketball. Is the sixth Virginia QB to make the Elite 11 in its 10 years. Committed to North Carolina over Virginia, Virginia Tech, Maryland and others.

2007 Stats: 214 of 339 passing for 2,749 yards and 32 touchdowns with just seven interceptions. Also rushed 124 times for 598 yards and 10 touchdowns in 13 games.

Tom Savage, 6-4, 217 lbs.,Springfield (Pa.) Cardinal O'Hara

[+] EnlargeTom Savage
ESPN.comTom Savage is bound for Rutgers.

A well-schooled pocket passer with a good feel for the quarterback position. Is a very consistent with good feet and a strong and accurate arm. Had two healthy weeks and eventually missed half of his junior season with a broken foot but still managed to put up solid numbers in a Wing-T offense. Impressed at both the Penn State Nike Camp and Elite 11 regional camp, taking home QB MVP honors at NIKE and shining once he got going. Passed for 1,573 yards and 11 TDs as a sophomore starter in 2006. Is the younger brother of former Wisconsin and current Hofstra QB Bryan Savage. Is the 6th Pennsylvania QB to make the Elite 11 in its 10 years, and the second from the greater Philadelphia area. Committed to Rutgers over offers from Georgia, Miami, Tennessee, Louisville and many more.

2007 Stats: 72 of 136 passing for 909 yards and eight touchdowns in parts of six games.

Eugene Smith, 6-3, 182 lbs., Miramar (Fla.)

[+] EnlargeEugene Smith
Tom Hauck for ESPN.comEugene Smith is keeping his college options open.
One of the top natural passers ever to emerge from talent-rich South Florida. A true pocket passer with a strong and accurate arm. Earned second team all-state honors and Broward County Offensive Player of the Year honors last fall despite missing three games. Impressed at both the Gainesville and Miami NIKE Camps in April, taking home camp QB MVP honors in South Florida and matching Murray throw-for-throw in Gainesville. Was an honorable mention all-county pick as a sophomore, throwing for 1,108 yards and totaling 11 TDs while splitting time, and was very impressive as a underclassman at the '07 Miami Nike Camp. Is the 15th Florida QB to make the Elite 11 in its 10 years, and the first ever out of Broward County. Strongly considering Boston College, South Florida, Florida State, LSU and Louisville out of more than 30 offers.

2007 Stats: Passed for 2,222 yards and 25 TDs with just three interceptions while rushing for seven more scores in just seven full games.

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