FORT WORTH, Texas -- On what was a windy spring day, more than 90 gunslingers went through the paces in a very competitive, somewhat revamped, circuit of drill stations for the 2011 regional Fort Worth Elite 11 quarterback camp.
As is usually the case, many prospects taking part in the event for the first time took a few reps or station go-arounds before settling in and really letting it fly without having to think. When players reach that comfort zone is when they separate a bit from the rest of the pack.
Accuracy and footwork -- two staples of the Elite 11 event -- are a cornerstone of each station. In the age of the modern shotgun, spread offense, in which taking snaps from under center has become a lost art, prospects on hand can always expect to get a heavy dose of dropping from center, reading on the move and getting the ball out on time and in rhythm.
The following prospects, many of whom have become early household names in recruiting circles, showcased athleticism, accuracy and sound overall mechanics. For some, this is the second time we have seen them in person as well as on tape, which is really giving us a well-rounded early evaluation of the position heading into late spring.
QB Kiehl Frazier (Springdale, Ark./Shiloh Christian)
Despite nursing a sports hernia, which he will have surgery to repair Tuesday, Frazier was as advertised both in ability and stature. More importantly, Frazier has really sharpened and refined his throwing motion. He is smoother and more fluid in his overall delivery than he was during his junior season.
At times, he looked a little rigid with his release last fall. That's no longer the case. Despite playing almost exclusively out of the shotgun, Frazier is much further along in the drop-back game than we expected to see at this stage. From athleticism to arm strength, Frazier has the tools and also a high ceiling for outstanding development. He is not just a spread passer -- he can make all the throws. It is very easy to see why he has become such a hot commodity early in the process.
QB Michael Brewer (Austin, Texas/Lake Travis)
Brewer, a Texas Tech commit, follows in a long line of impressive quarterbacks at Lake Travis -- including Todd Reesing and Garrett Gilbert. While his measurables resemble Reesing more than Gilbert, his overall production on Saturday was on par with what we saw of him on tape. Oftentimes, in a workout setting, it can be difficult to see grit and a competitive gunslinging mentality, but Brewer did bring a swagger and live arm to this session.
What he lacks in height -- standing 6-foot -- he makes up for with footwork and anticipation. At times he will show a whip-like release, but the ball comes out quick. He will be an ideal fit for the spread offense in Lubbock under new coach Tommy Tuberville. He shows zip and the ability to change ball speeds, and he does a nice job of dropping the ball in over the top on the deep ball. He does not possess an elite arm, but it is strong enough and he understands timing and where to go with the ball.
Kendal Thompson (Southmoore, Okla.) and J.W. Walsh (Denton, Texas/Guyer)
This is the second time we have seen both Thompson and Walsh live this spring, and the two of them were even better the second time around.
You could argue Thompson was the most consistently accurate passer throughout the day. Despite the quirky delivery, the left-handed Thompson shows a quick stroke, does not wind up and throws a very catchable ball with nice zip. For a shotgun, spread passer he shows excellent footwork, balance and agility within the pocket. He is a dual-threat prospect who is a passer first, runner second.
Walsh was the gambler of the group, which can be a trait that does not always show up in a workout setting, but it is clearly evident on tape. He can be a bit raw mechanically, but the ball comes out hot and with very good zip and he is a much better athlete than he gets credit for. He can play both from under center and out of the shotgun. Oklahoma State fans have got to feel good about Walsh and what he brings to the table.
QB Bram Kohlhausen (Houston, Texas/Lamar)
Outside of Christian LeMay (Matthews, N.C./Butler), we do not know if we have seen a prospect with a better pure delivery than Kohlhausen. On tape, he appears to have a little more of a windup than what we saw from him on Saturday. On this day, Kohlhausen was throwing darts and the ball popped off his hand. He has good feet and a quick stroke to plant and get the ball out. There is very little wasted motion and while he does not have an arm as strong as Frazier's, he was a bit more accurate and he certainly can make all the throws. The Houston Cougars were smart to get on this kid early and it could pay big dividends just like Case Keenum has.
QB Corbin Berkstresser (Lees Summit, Mo.)
Berkstresser has a great frame and ideal measurables for a pocket passer. He performed just as we expected with solid arm strength and great touch on intermediate and deep routes. He showed real flashes of accuracy on tough throws and a high, over-the-top delivery that only accentuates his excellent height. From drops, to timing, to delivery, Berkstresser was very consistent in everything he did.
Tom Luginbill is the national scouting director for ESPN Recruiting.