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Who signed the top high school quarterbacks in the nation in the 2012 class?
- by Braden Gall (@BradenGall on twitter)
The next batch of in-coming college football All-Americans have inked their respective letters of intent. Recruiting is the life blood of the greatest sport on the planet, and, while coaching stills plays the biggest role in winning a championship, having better players can go a long way to earning a trip to the BCS.
Recruiting is an inexact science by definition. It is virtually impossible to accurately peg the mental make-up of any 17-year old child -- much less high-profile, over-coddled 17-year-old athletes. But team recruiting rankings offer the best indication of which team has the best ingredients each coach has to work with each season.
My biggest issue with quarterback recruiting rankings is the lack of quarterback depth near the top of the rankings. Normally, there are four to six AC100 signal callers in any given year. However, seeing as how the quarterback is the single most important position on the field, it seems like the position (somehow, someway) gets underranked.
The 2006 quarterback class comes to mind. The Tim Tebows and Matt Staffords landed in five-star territory, but Sam Bradford, Andy Dalton, Colin Kaepernick, Greg McElroy, Christian Ponder, Thad Lewis, Ricky Stanzi, Nate Davis and Todd Reesing were all three-star prospects. It makes no sense that every one of those names wasn't at least considered a "national recruit." For some reason, the most important piece to any football puzzle gets consistently underranked.
In 2012, there are only five top-100 quarterback recruits — one of which is a longshot to stick at the position. I find it hard to believe that only five of the best 100 players in the nation play quarterback.
Additionally, where a player lands can also impact how he is rated. Devin Fuller and Anthony Alford, for example, might not be listed as quarterbacks had they gone to different schools. But at UCLA and Southern Miss, those two dual-threat athletes will get every chance to play quarterback.
The league to watch out for in this class is the Pac-12. Washington and Cal landed arguably the two most game-ready signal callers in the nation in Cyler Miles and Zach Kline respectively. UCLA and BYU each landed an elite passer as well, giving the West Coast four of the top six quarterback prospects.
Here are the best incoming quarterbacks in the nation:
|1.||Jameis Winston||6'3"||195||Hueytown, AL||No. 15||Florida State|
|2.||Gunner Kiel||6'4"||220||Columbus, IN||No. 24||Notre Dame|
|3.||Devin Fuller||6'||195||Old Tappan, NJ||No. 35||UCLA|
|4.||Zach Kline||6'2"||210||Danville, CA||No. 39||Cal|
|5.||Cyler Miles||6'4"||218||Centennial, CO||No. 91||Washington|
|6.||Tanner Mangum||6'3"||195||Eagle, ID||No. 113||BYU|
|7.||Chad Kelly||6'3"||209||Buffalo, NY||No. 115||Clemson|
|8.||Anthony Alford||6'||200||Petal, MS||No. 119||Southern Miss|
|9.||Connor Brewer||6'2"||200||Scottsdale, AZ||No. 134||Texas|
|10.||Zeke Pike||6'6"||225||Edgewood, KY||No. 153||Auburn|
|11.||Matt Davis||6'2"||202||Houston, TX||No. 162||Texas A&M|
|12.||Jeremy Liggins||6'3"||270||Oxford, MS||No. 171||LSU|
|13.||Travis Wilson||6'6"||207||San Clemente, CA||No. 183||Utah|
|14.||T.J. Millweard||6'4"||225||Ft. Worth, TX||No. 192||UCLA|
|15.||Tyler Matthews||6'3"||205||McPherson, KS||No. 193||TCU|
|16.||Chad Voytik||6'1"||185||Cleveland, TN||No. 200||Pittsburgh|
|17.||Justin Thomas||5'11"||185||Prattville, AL||No. 202||Georgia Tech|
|18.||Ford Childress||6'4"||210||Houston, TX||No. 250||West Virginia|
|19.||Tommy Armstrong||6'2"||210||Cibolo, TX||No. 252||Nebraska|
|20.||Bart Houston||6'4"||215||Dublin, CA||No. 259||Wisconsin|
2012 Athlon Sports Positional Recruiting Rankings:
College Football 2012 Positional Recruiting Rankings: Running Backs
College Football 2012 Positional Recruiting Rankings: Linebackers
College Football 2012 Positional Recruiting Rankings: Defensive Linemen
College Football 2012 Positional Recruiting Rankings: Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
College Football 2012 Positional Recruiting Rankings: Defensive Backs
College Football 2012 Positional Recruiting Rankings: Offensive Linemen
College Football 2012 Positional Recruiting Rankings: Quarterbacks
College Football 2012 Positional Recruiting Rankings: Athletes