Commentary

Scroggins knows, but he's not talking

Top QB has made his choice between USC, Florida and Tennessee, but not telling yet

Originally Published: July 21, 2009
By Jc Shurburtt | Scouts Inc.

ALISO VIEJO, Calif. -- Under Armour All-American quarterback Jesse Scroggins (Lakewood, Calif./Lakewood) already knows where he wants to play college football. He's just not telling everyone else yet.

The ESPNU150 watch list quarterback will announce his decision later this week -- possibly as soon as Wednesday -- during the Elite 11 quarterback camp.

[+] EnlargeJesse Scroggins
Tom Hauck for ESPN.comJesse Scroggins' final three were USC, Tennessee and Florida.
"I've touched base with my parents and my coach," Scroggins said. "I've made my final decision. Although I am only picking one college, I love every single college [that has recruited me]. Different colleges have different assets. But this one college, I really love and it felt good."

Southern California, Florida and Tennessee are the three finalists for Scroggins, who has seen his stock steadily rise since a breakout showing in April at the Los Angeles Nike Football Training Camp, where he took home quarterback MVP honors.

"With Florida, they are the defending national champs," Scroggins said. "Plus, [Gators quarterbacks coach] Scot Loeffler is a great, winning coach. Tennessee is a rising school and is in my mother's home state [she is from Memphis], and USC is in my home state."

Scroggins is expected to pick the Trojans.

"It's a competing place," he said. "Someone may be starting one day, and the next day, their job is taken. You compete every day. It's all you can do there."

Although the Los Angeles region is the most heavily recruited metropolitan area in the West and several players leave the area to play college football, the majority of the more highly regarded prospects tend to stay home and play for USC or UCLA.

"They can stay in check," Scroggins said. "If you are from [Southern] California and you stay here, your parents are there for you. You can stay focused because you have somebody to go to. That's one thing I really like about SC is that I could stay home."

Scroggins added that being "comfortable" was the most important factor in his decision.

The lone uncommitted quarterback in this year's Elite 11 field is coming off a brilliant showing at last week's Nike 7-On passing tournament. He was the best quarterback prospect at the event and showed off a big arm on a number of occasions, prompting some to speculate he could be the top signal-caller in the 2010 class.

During the first workout for the Elite 11 quarterback camp on Monday, Scroggins had a good day throwing the ball. He wasn't as crisp as he would have liked to have been, however.

"I did OK," he said. "I started off slow because I didn't have my own ball, but I picked it up there toward the end. The main thing is accuracy, behind that is how the ball looks. As long as you get it there, you are doing what you need to be doing."

Day 1 notes

• Michigan commit Devin Gardner (Inkster, Mich./Inkster) hopes to quiet the critics who say he can't throw the football.

"I mean, I guess having offers as a quarterback from schools that throw it like Notre Dame isn't enough," Gardner said, smiling. "I also put up more passing yards (1,886 yards and 26 touchdowns) last year than rushing yards (1,401 yards and 22 TDs)."

• Under Armour All-American Nick Montana (Westlake Village, Calif./Oaks Christian) was very consistent and smooth during the day. The Washington commit appeared to be extremely poised during all the drill work.

• BYU commit Jake Heaps (Sammamish, Wash./Skyline) has a live arm and looked good in some of the drills. He's not the biggest kid out there (6-foot-2, 198 pounds), but you can see how his skill set fits what the Cougars do on offense. ESPN Scouts Inc.'s Tom Luginbill, who is scouting the event, said he believed that Heaps was sound and "ahead of the curve on the subtle nuances of the game."

• Although Luginbill cautioned that he would like to give all the prospects a day to "adjust to what is being asked of them," he said he felt that Alabama commit and Under Armour All-American Phillip Sims (Chesapeake, Va./Oscar Smith) impressed him the most on the first day.

"His arm was big and live, and he was very accurate," Luginbill said.

Luginbill also was impressed with West Virginia commit Barry Brunetti (Memphis, Tenn./Memphis University School) and noted that he has a very impressive release.

• Oklahoma quarterback commit Blake Bell (Wichita, Kan./Bishop Carroll) looked better throwing the football here than he did at the Athens Elite 11 regional workout back in April. He had some nice moments on Monday.

• San Diego State commit Tyler Bray (Kingsburg, Calif./Kingsburg) continues to be an impressive quarterback. The 6-6, 190-pounder threw several nice balls on Monday and looks like he belongs at the event. The Aztecs did a great job getting him committed.

JC Shurburtt covers recruiting for ESPN.com. He can be reached at jcsespn@aol.com.