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July 23, 2008
Elite 11: Every's inside look at Day Two
ALISO VIEJO, Calif. – Day two of the EA Sports Elite 11 is in the books. Rivals.com staff recruiting analyst Barry Every discusses all 12 of the quarterbacks and what they bring to the table half way through the event. Players are listed in alphabetical order.
Barry Every's Elite 11 Day Two Analysis
Tajh Boyd, 6-1, 208, DQB, Hampton (Va.) Phoebus
Boyd was the last competitor to make it to the event. His plane landed 1 hour before the first session started. It was obvious he was tired and not quite his usual self throwing the ball. Day two was completely different as he showed better velocity, accuracy and good spin on his passes. He has great body structure and looks physically matured right now. Boyd's big smile was there today, and there is no doubt he was the most improved player from day one to day two.
Richard Brehaut, 6-2, 206, PQB Rancho Cucamonga (CA) Los Osos
He's been one of the more consistent quarterbacks over both days. Brehaut's throwing motion is very similar to Jim Kelly – it is short and right over the top.
His accuracy on short to mid-range passes has been excellent with very good velocity. He possesses very good body structure with some room to get bigger. On day two he finished in a tie for second in the accuracy competition.
Allan Bridgford, 6-3, 213, PQB Mission Viejo (CA) Mission Viejo
Bridgford has probably demonstrated the best accuracy over the first two days. One day after winning the Golden Gun Award, he finished in a tie for second with Brehaut. He also hit the money ball, which is a 45-yard throw through a small hoop about one foot off the ground, for the second straight day. He has a quick release on short and mid-range passes and has done an excellent job reading defensive coverages during drills. His body structure has really changed since the beginning of last season when he tipped the scales at 185 pounds.
Raymond Cotton, 6-4, 216, DQB Fort Meade (Md.) Meade
He is the most physically impressive prospect at this camp. I also believe he is the only participant who could play another position at the next level. He struggled on day one with accuracy, but in the last hour of day two he started coming around, getting his ball to spin instead of wobble. Coach Tee Martin mentioned that some of the kids may have struggled on day one because the drill work may have been unfamiliar and the brand of balls they were throwing are most likely different than they are used to.
Garrett Gilbert, 6-4, 205, PQB, Austin (Texas) Lake Travis
This tall, lanky signal caller definitely looks the part of a quarterback physically. His release is a bit long, and he still seems to be favoring his injured shoulder. I have to think he is only at about 80 percent strength in his throws. He has very good footwork and has done a nice job on the short routes. It is really hard to give him a fair evaluation at this point because he's not quite 100 percent.
Andrew Maxwell, 6-3, 192 PQB Midland (MI) Midland
Maxwell has been one of the most consistent throwers on both days. His footwork is above average, which helps with his timing and accuracy. He is a bit lean at this time and most likely will need to add 10-15 pounds before he can compete for playing time at Michigan State. He appears to be having the time of his life and really seems to thrive on this competition. As I said yesterday, he may be the best quarterback prospect in the Midwest.
AJ McCarron, 6-4, 189 PQB Mobile (Ala.) St. Paul's
McCarron has and extremely quick release similar to that of Dan Marino. It looks like a quick flick by the second baseman to the shortstop turning two. McCarron's accuracy has been very good on short to mid-range passes. In the Golden Gun contest on day one, he finished third out of the 12 competitors. He posses good height, but is still a bit on the thin side. I believe as he physically matures his arm strength will only get better.
Zach Mettenberger, 6-5, 229, PQB Watkinsville (Ga.) Oconee County
Mettenberger is one of the biggest quarterbacks in this camp and possesses the strongest arm in the camp. After talking with coach Martin, I believe Mettenberger may have pressed himself a tad too much on day one. He just didn't have the same tight spin he displayed for four hours at the Tuscaloosa camp. That perfect spiral was back on day two, and I could see him joking around with AJ McCarron. He is a strict pocket-style quarterback who will have no problem seeing down field.
Aaron Murray, 6-1, 198, PQB Tampa (FL) Plant
What can I say? Right now, Murray is the most consistent quarterback in the camp. He may not have the height that some experts desire, but he is taller than camp counselor Chase Daniel, who was a Heisman finalist last season. Murray has tremendous velocity and accuracy during drills and just exudes confidence. He also has very good footwork and is athletic enough to run some spread offense at the next level. It is not just me who has been impressed with his performance as I have heard several fans at the event mention his stellar showing.
Bryn Renner, 6-3, 192 DQB West Springfield (Va.) West Springfield
North Carolina has had a couple of big-time quarterback recruits over the last 10 years in Ronald Curry and Mike Paulus. I think Renner can be added to that group. He has excellent height and a very good frame that can hold 20 more pounds. He was on his game Tuesday, displaying excellent accuracy and coming away with the Golden Gun Award for day two. He has very good feet and average arm strength that will only get better as he fills out. He may be the least-known of all the prospects here, but he has more than held his own.
Tom Savage, 6-4, 217, PQB Springfield (PA) Cardinal O'Hara
The weight we currently have for him has to be off; he looks to be closer to 230 pounds. His body is ready for the pounding it will take at the next level. Savage was a little inconsistent with the spin he puts on the ball, but when he throws the deep fade it is a thing of beauty. Like Mettenberger, he is a true pocket passer who will not have any problems seeing over the line of scrimmage. I know Rutgers has been playing college football for a long time, but he may be the most heralded quarterback recruit in school history.
Eugene Smith, 6-3, 182, DQB, Miramar (FL) Miramar
Smith has one of the quickest releases here and the ball comes out with tight spin. Some may question his arm strength, but he was one of only three quarterbacks to hit the money ball during the accuracy contest today. He will need to add muscle mass to take the pounding; I compare his body shape to a shooting guard in basketball. There is no doubt that he is a throw first, run second signal caller, but just watching him bounce around you can see he has serious change of direction and explosion. If he can combine making great throws with his athleticism. he will cause defensive coordinators to pull their hair out trying to stop him. A comparison to D. J. Shockley would be a very accurate one.
Barry is a recruiting analyst for Rivals.com. Previous to working for Rivals.com, he worked in the football offices at North Carolina, Florida State and Georgia.