Casey Cochran tops at Penn State E-11
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- The Elite 11 regional quarterback camp made a stop at Penn State. Here's a look at who stood out from the event.
The Connecticut native was one of the more polished, strong-armed passers on Friday. He's not the biggest or most athletic, but Cochran is productive, balanced in his setup and can make all the throws with a compact delivery and very good zip on his passes. Holding just a Boston College offer at this time, Cochran showed good underneath touch, deep ball accuracy and timing. He threw a tight ball and placed it on target. The son of a coach, he is also fundamentally sound displaying a quick release and very good footwork. Cochran would likely be higher up on teams' recruiting boards across the country if he had a bit more height.
Blake Rankin (Bloomsburg, Pa./Bloomsburg)
Rankin was another scholarship-caliber quarterback from Pennsylvania who showed flashes. He has the height you look for and with added bulk could be a quality pro-style quarterback at the next level. He was accurate when his feet were set and showed the ability to make most of the required passes out of three- and five-step drops. He got the ball out quickly and was good when he got into a rhythm. Rankin has room to fill out and raw downfield arm strength that should only improve as he continues physically develops. Footwork and consistency are areas of improvement.
Ryan Burns (Stone Bridge, Va./Stone Bridge)
One of the better younger quarterbacks in attendance, Burns is a very impressive looking prospect physically and has the arm strength to match. He had arguably the most powerful arm at the event and put the most velocity on his passes. Burns needs to polish up his footwork and become less mechanical and quicker with his delivery, but the ball jumps out of this youngster's hand with some zip and velocity. Burns made most of the throws when he followed through and set his feet and the Class of 2013 QB prospect has a lot of upside and will likely be one of the better signal callers out of his region next year.
Kevin Olsen (Wayne Hills, N.J./Wayne Hills)
There are bloodlines with Olsen (his brother Greg plays for the Chicago Bears and another brother Chris player for Virginia) and this 2013 prospect with a ton of upside was one of the better performers at the camp. He already has very good size, arm strength and accuracy. He put zip on his passes, threw well on the run and led receivers downfield with good ball placement, particularly on intermediate passes. What impresses you with this young QB is his footwork and overall polished mechanics. It has already garnered him offers form programs like Miami and Florida State.
The prolific Pennsylvania signal caller had an up-and-down day. This type of setting might actually not be the best for the athletic Nosovitch to showcase his skills. He's a gamer with the agility and savvy to improvise and make plays out of the pocket. Obviously that's not something he could showcase here. His setup and footwork were solid but at times seemed to force his throws. While he let some of his balls slip away he also showed the ability to lead receivers downfield with accuracy. For the most part, he made all of the throws that will be necessary at the next level but was inconsistent on the day.
Quick hittersBrandon Napoleon (Jersey City, N.J./Saint Peters Prep) is one of the better athletes and dual-threat QBs out of New Jersey in 2012 but he didn't really have a chance to showcase those qualities. While he did well throwing the ball, we did not see enough yet to be convince us his great quickness and change-of-direction skill might not be better suited at cornerback or receiver at the next level. ... Phillip Walker (Elizabeth, N.J./Elizabeth), a 2013 prospect from New Jersey, has a quick release and showed he could zip on the run. This athletic quarterback is one to watch next year. ... D.J Crook (Barnstable, Mass./Barnstable) made the trip from Cape Cod and one of the top signal callers in Massachusetts (he's receiving lower level D-I attention) had a solid day. He is tall and lanky with a whip-like release and can get some RPMs on the ball. He needs to continue working on his downfield accuracy, however. ... Fellow Massachusetts QB Brandon Walsh (North Andover, Mass./North Andover) also needs to be more consistent with his accuracy, but he displayed good feet, flashes of intermediate arm strength and good athleticism throwing outside the pocket. ... New York native Ryan Spellman (Monroe-Woodbury, N.Y./Monroe-Woodbury) had a good overall day and showed well-rounded ability and a competitive nature. ... Ben Onett (Washington, D.C./Saint John's College) was another prospect without a lot of hype heading into the event, but is well-built, compact with his release and showed good arm strength.
Billy Tucker is a recruiting coordinator for ESPN Recruiting and has close to a decade of coaching experience at the college and high school levels.