Big names, big prospects in Big Easy
OU-commit Thompson shines, but 2012 prospect Winston turns heads at Clarkson event
NEW ORLEANS -- While some top QB prospects were on hand and played well at the New Orleans stop on the Clarkson Dreammaker Tour, it was an underclassman who might have made the biggest impression.
Kendal Thompson (Southmoore, Okla./Southmoore)
The son of former Oklahoma QB Charles Thompson is getting to do much more with his arm than his dad got an opportunity to do and Kendal is a nice combination of athleticism, arm strength and footwork. While Kendal Thompson, an Oklahoma commit, has spent most of his time in the shotgun spread, he displayed very good rhythm and timing with his feet dropping from center. He flashes nice touch and enough zip to make all the necessary throws because he understands timing and when to get the ball out.
Thompson has the look of a dual-threat and is more than capable of making plays with his legs, but he is a passer first. For a left-handed QB he does not have a wind-up, but he does show a very quirky, compact delivery. He is part pusher, part passer. He showed good zip and pop and is very accurate. Thompson has also grown at least an inch and is hovering right at 6-foot-2 with plenty of room for frame development and added bulk. Thompson could play in the spread, pro-style and multiple set and is a player who is pretty polished at this stage.
Zach Oliver (Baton Rouge, La./Catholic)
While we liked Oliver on tape, he really impressed and upped his stock on Saturday. He has good height, is a better athlete than expected and has a live, consistent arm and throwing mechanics. He was very impressive in all drill work, adapting to what was being taught and applying it with consistent accuracy from throw to throw.
He has very good height (6-3) and already possesses solid bulk and broad shoulders to add to his frame. The ball comes out extremely smooth and fluid, which is his best attribute. He gets good zip on throws outside the numbers and down the sideline. Oliver was also very impressive when throwing on the move and consistently hit the target when rolling out to either side. He has offers from Northwestern, Arkansas State and Tulsa and expect his list of offers to expand quickly.
QB Jameis Winston (Hueytown, Ala./Hueytown)
Perhaps the most impressive prospect as a dual-threat passer we have seen this spring was Winston, a class of 2012 prospect. At nearly 6-4, 185 pounds, Winston is blessed with some impressive physical gifts both in arm strength and athleticism. He is reminiscent of 2011 prospect Teddy Bridgewater (Miami/Northwestern), only much more mechanically sound and consistent.
He possesses a smooth release and the ball comes out with snap and zip, and he can make every throw on the field. He has long legs, long arms and looks like a basketball player, but his other sport is baseball. Alabama and Miami have offered, and with a big junior year we would expect him to be a national recruit for the 2012 class.
Marcus Riley (Williamson, Ala./Williamson)
Riley is a virtually unknown prospect who has spent the last two years at wide receiver, but will be starting at QB as a senior. He is an athletic, adequately tall prospect with a whip of an arm. With further fundamental work and a strong showing as a senior, Riley should generate some interest in October and thereafter. He has very smooth throwing mechanics, but tends to pat the ball just prior to releasing it. If he can eliminate this glitch, his release would be what you would look for at the position. He proved he could throw well on the run to both sides and has the arm to drive the ball downfield. What he needs now is experience under center.
Shaun White (Pensacola, Fla./Catholic)
Arguably, White possessed the most live arm at the event. He is built like a safety or sturdy running back, but he can really spin it and displays the type of power, velocity, and delivery quickness you like to have in a passer, let alone a dual-threat QB like White. He lacks ideal height, but in the shotgun spread he could be dangerous because he is capable of making deep throws when on the move and across his body due to arm strength alone.
Matt Floyd (Pensacola, Fla./Milton)
Another surprising player from the panhandle area of Florida was Floyd, who really impressed with his feet, measureables, live arm and smooth release. Floyd, a pocket passer, may be a a late bloomer with his best football ahead of him. With more reps on camp circuit and more opportunities to be seen, we would anticipate Floyd garnering some interest throughout his senior season.
Dakota Prescott (Haughton, La./Haughton)
We would likely place Prescott in the athlete category as he was the most impressive looking athlete on hand from a physical standpoint. Prescott has he look of a tight end, which is likely where he could end up. He has a big arm and can make all the throws, but needs further grooming and development as a passer. He is strong and well built and coaches could possibly envision him on defense as well.
Tom Luginbill is the national scouting director for ESPN Recruiting.
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