CSTV Recruiting with Tom Lemming|
Aug. 8, 2005
By Tom Lemming
Special to CSTV.com
1. Tim Tebow, Nease H.S. (Fla.), 6-2, 220 lbs., 4.6 (40-yard dash)
Add Alabama to the Mike Vick clone's short list, which already includes Florida, North Carolina State, Michigan and Florida State. Entering the season as the nation's No. 1 quarterback, Tebow has a lot to prove; a marquee matchup with Alabama power Hoover High -- a potential ESPN broadcast -- will provide a big-league stage. The Nease, Fla. native is a different type of kid. He's home-schooled by his parents and travels to the closest high school to play, which happens to be Nease. Tebow's non-traditional upbringing clearly hasn't affected his recruiting -- as he accumulated close to 7,000 yards last year, which is an unbelievable number. Only time will tell how he fares as a marked man.
2. Mitch Mustain, Springdale (Ark.), 6-3, 198 lbs., 4.65
Arkansas product Mustain is like a high school version of Joe Montana, a great all-around athlete with a smooth delivery and pinpoint accuracy. He could end up being this year's version of Chad Pennington -- he could start as a true freshman, provided he ends up in the right situation. Mustain will be headed to Arkansas next fall after giving his verbal commitment this August.
3. Zack Frazer, Mechanicsburg (Pa.), 6-4, 220 lbs., 4.8
The Mechanicsburg, Pa. product is from the pro pocket quarterback mold. What he lacks in movement skills, he compensates for with a very good arm and sharp decision-making skills. He fits into the New England system like a Tom Brady or a Drew Bledsoe would. Frazer, who's given a verbal commitment to Notre Dame, has the brain, brawn and tools -- mobility remains the only obvious weakness.
4. Jevan Snead, Stephenville (Texas), 6-4, 205 lbs., 4.69
Snead, who's committed to Florida, is a perfect candidate for the Gainesville school's spread offense. He's got a great control of the ball and does a great job of finding secondary receivers. The Texas product represents the full package: he's got the height, arm strength and smarts. What Alex Smith meant to Utah, Snead is probably going to mean to Florida.
5. Matt Stafford, Highland Park (Texas), 6-1, 215 lbs., 4.75
Stafford's probably the shortest of all these guys, but he's certainly one of the more productive. He's gotten a ton of publicity coming out of Dallas, and many think he's ready-made -- he's been trained to be a starter right away. Committed to Georgia, the Bulldogs have suggested that he might indeed start as a true freshman. At any rate, they've got themselves their future quarterback. Stafford might not have a great arm, great height or great speed, but his overall game is one of the best in the country.
6. Demetrius Jones, Morgan Park (Ill.), 6-4, 200 lbs., 4.45
Midway product Jones is probably the best athlete of the quarterback class. Compared to the rest of the bunch, he has further to go as a passer. But he's an outstanding all-around athlete (see the blistering forty time) with a real good arm that just needs work on his mechanics. It deserves mention that Jones is further along than was Donovan McNabb coming out of high school out of Chicago. It was important for Jones to sign with a program that will work with his talents rather than the other way around. Hopefully that school will be Notre Dame, where he gave his verbal this August.
7. Jarred Fayson, Tampa Hillsborough (Fla.), 6-1, 195 lbs., 4.32
Fayson is another ballplayer, like Jones, whose extraordinary athletic ability may tempt some coaches to place him at free safety. He has to fight that. The Tampa product certainly has the skills to play quarterback at the college level, and if he goes to a school that will make him the darling of the program, he'll really prosper. If not, they'll put him at wide receiver or defensive back. Schools have been known to tell athletes with talents as unique as Fayson's whatever they want to hear, sign them and, after, move them. With Jarred, that definitely should not happen.
8. Alex Cate, Cottonwood (Utah), 6-1, 200 lbs., 4.7
Cate doesn't have great height, but excels as a savvy precision passer. He's 18-going-on-30, a heady player that very rarely forces the ball. A natural leader, both on and off the field, the Utah native has made his mark as a guy who gets the job done. He's got great confidence, as demonstrated by his willingness to commit to Louisiana State -- where last year's No. 1 high school prospect, quarterback Ryan Perriloux, is taking the snaps. You've got to give Cate a lot of credit for not being afraid of Ryan. LSU has told him they'll give him an even shot of winning the starting role when he gets there which, really, is all he can ask for.
9. Jake Locker, Ferndale H.S. (Wash.), 6-2, 205 lbs., 4.5
Locker, who's made headlines as the top-ranked baseball prospect in the state of Washington, may prove a very good catch for Tyrone Willingham. Or not; there's a chance he may go baseball in June and give up football altogether. If the Ferndale, Wash. native does opt to stay on the gridiron, though, he has All-American ability at quarterback and free safety.
10. Josh Freeman, Grandview (Mo.), 6-6, 220 lbs., 4.84
The Missouri farmboy is the biggest of all the quarterbacks. He impressed many with his arm strength at the combine in San Antonio. He's got a ways to go to develop as a passer, but he's going to a good program -- Nebraska under Bill Callahan -- that knows how to cultivate signal-callers. The key word with Josh is patience, because he's got a tight end frame that could make some people want to switch his position. He's a very good all-around athlete, but not yet a finished product.