Arizona quarterback steals the show


PASADENA, Calif. -- It comes as no surprise that the state of California produces top-notch quarterbacks on a yearly basis. We expected a Southern California signal-caller to steal the show at Saturday's Steve Clarkson Dreammaker Tour, but that wasn't the case.

This year, a quarterback out of the state of Arizona, Brett Hundley (Chandler, Ariz./Chandler High), put together the day's top performance during a chilly, rain-shortened event.

Not only is the highly touted junior physically imposing at 6-foot-2, 217 pounds, but he quickly showed his arm strength on three- and five-step drops, as well as rolling out right and left.

"I came in here with a lot of preparation for this event throwing at school every week," said Hundley, who won the accuracy contest. "I knew the best of the West Coast quarterbacks would be here today and I was ready to compete. I think I did pretty well today. I showed what I can do, but I see I still have a lot of improvement to make. I feel like I came out and did what I had to. I'm all for the competition."

While Saturday was his first time on the national stage, it was hardly the first time he has impressed.

"I have seven offers. Texas A&M just came in two days ago, which was nice," Hundley said. "I also have Stanford, Washington, Arizona State, Colorado, Colorado State and Montana. I was actually at Stanford yesterday for their junior day even though it is today."

Hundley, the son of former Arizona running back Brett Hundley, is the quintessential quarterback prospect with a love for football, the film room and academics.

"My GPA is 3.9, so school is a major thing with me and I want to be a doctor. I'm just going through the process with my eyes opened, learning as much as I can."

Future Arizona Wildcat

The lone committed quarterback in attendance was former state of Oklahoma signal-caller Daxx Garman (Southlake, Texas/Carroll). The 6-2, 185-pounder, who has enrolled at Southlake Carroll and will begin classes Monday, displayed active feet, agility, balance and a quick release.

Garman played his junior season at Jones High in Oklahoma, completing 156 of 210 passes for 2,311 yards and 24 touchdowns against just six interceptions before being ruled ineligible because of transfer issues (he had played at Carl Albert through his sophomore season).

"I just wanted to go out and compete," said Garman. "I want to see where I stand and have a lot of fun. I want to get bigger, stronger and improve my speed, but also want to work on my feet and feel like I'm as technically sound as possible. That is why I came here."

Garman picked the Wildcats over an offer from North Carolina.

Gretzky next at Oaks Christian

The next big-time quarterback at Oak Christian has become a staple of Steve Clarkson workouts in the Los Angeles area. Trevor Gretzky (Sherman Oaks, Ca./Oaks Christian), the son of hockey legend Wayne Gretzky, flashed his impressive athletic ability on a day when footing and agility were at a premium.

"I started with Steve a couple of years ago and every year I've gotten better," Gretzky said. "I really enjoy these camps; they are a lot of fun and I love coming to them. He has helped me a lot with the mental aspect of the game, going over chalk talk and stuff. The drills throwing the ball are awesome."

The 6-3, 190-pounder moved with fluidity and balance during drills, flashing the strong arm that has made the talented junior a rising two-sport star on the gridiron and diamond, as a catcher.

Gretzky has patiently waited his turn at Oaks Christian, even though he could have transferred to a number of schools and been a two- or three-year starter. The chance to lead the prestigious program is worth the wait.

"[Being next in line is] pretty cool, but I've just got to focus and work hard to get ready for next year because we are entering a new league and it's going to be tough. We are going to have fun with it," Gretzky said.

UCLA, Arizona State and Miami are among the programs that are showing interest. An unofficial visit to Arizona State is around the corner.

Strong-armed Boehm stands out

Right there with Hundley for top honors was Kyle Boehm (San Jose, Calif./Archbishop Mitty). The 6-3, 215-pounder not only has the desired size, but he combines that with quality feet, a plus arm and a quick release. He looked especially impressive spinning the ball when he rolled out.

College programs have already started to offer the talented 2011 prospect. Colorado State, San Jose State, Wyoming, Arizona State, California and Washington have offered, while Kansas is expected to follow suit in the near future. Illinois, Boise State and Northwestern are three of many more programs showing interest.

"I want to learn a lot today and just put myself out there. There are a lot of good coaches and scouts out here and I just want to get myself out there a little more," Boehm said shortly before taking the field.

Mission accomplished for Boehm, who threw for 936 yards and eight touchdowns and rushed for 877 yards and 14 touchdowns as a junior in 11 games.

Making a statement

Class of 2012 QB Jake Rodrigues (Whitney, Calif./Whitney) was very impressive in drill work with a combination of arm strength, quality feet, ballhandling skills and accuracy rolling out. He spun the ball effortlessly and possesses a terrific frame at 6-3, 200 pounds with broad shoulders.

"Today has been a tremendous day, a great opportunity and I have been blessed by my parents who drove me down here," said Rodrigues. "I have had a great day here and learned a lot."

Rodrigues has flown under the radar for the most part, due to partially torn ankle ligaments that cut his sophomore campaign short. However, in a little over three games, he rushed for nearly 500 yards and threw for close to 450 yards. He plans to camp at a number of places throughout the summer, including USC (childhood favorite) and Oregon.

Future is bright in Southern California

A pair of 2013 prospects left their mark in Pasadena, including one with a familiar last name. Hayden Rettig (Sierra Madre, Calif./Cathedral Catholic) is the brother of 2010 Under Armour All-American quarterback Chase Rettig, who is already on campus at Boston College. The 6-3 freshman signal-caller displayed a strong arm and advanced footwork, rolling out as well as ballhandling.

Rettig was joined by fellow freshman Troy Williams (Narbonne, Calif./Narbonne), who was one of the most impressive throwers, regardless of classification. The 6-0, 170-pounder showed impressive accuracy in the pocket and on the move for a young prospect. The ball jumped out of his hand throughout the drills.

Gerry Hamilton has covered recruiting in Texas and the Southwest for more than a decade. He can be reached at espngerry@yahoo.com.