How the Top 5 QB Commits Fit into the College Offense They Will Soon Run
Playing QB of a football team is perhaps the most scrutinized and pressure-packed position in all of sports. You have to know what all the other 10 players are supposed to do each play, have to be aware of every minute detail of every situation, and have to be the leader of the overall program and organization.
To begin to fulfill all of those roles, the QB has to know what he is doing. He has to know his offensive scheme inside and out so that he's a productive player, which leads to the success and fulfillment of other requirements of the position.
There are some very good QB prospects in this year's 2013 recruiting class. They will have learn their college offenses well before they can reach their full potential.
Let's use this read to project how their skill sets fit into their projected college offensive schemes.
5. Cooper Bateman
Offensive Coordinator: Doug Nussmeier
The Alabama offense has been based and centered around having a physical offensive line that creates holes for a downhill, power based rushing attack.
The Crimson Tide do not ask much of their of QBs, but they've expanded A.J. McCarron's role this year based on his improved talent, and Alabama has upgraded it's WR unit.
Bateman fits the offense well, because he will have excellent skilled players to throw to. Alabama hasn't had a QB of Bateman's arm talent, perhaps, since Brodie Croyle. Bateman doesn't like to scramble much, but he won't have to thanks to 'Bama's traditional good OL's.
He's a pro-style QB who fits well in Alabama's pro-style, power run game-play action offense.
4. Ryan Burns
Offensive Coordinator: David Shaw and Pep Hamilton
Stanford runs a similar offense to Alabama, as it also likes a physical OL unit and relies on the running game to stay on schedule. The Cardinal program, unlike Alabama, asks more out of their QBs.
From setting and re-setting protections, check-with-me plays and more audibles, Stanford QBs must be the smartest players on the team. They also pride themselves on accuracy and deceptive running ability.
Burns, at 6'5" and 220 pounds, has the accuracy, arm strength and enough athleticism to operate the system well. He will just need time to master all of the multiple formations, reads and full grasp of the scheme.
3. Shane Morris
Offensive Coordinator: Al Borges
For the most part, Borges runs an offense that has some West Coast Offense principles. He's added some spread option stuff to suit Denard Robinson's skills, but Borges is a pro-style OC at heart.
Morris is a 6'3", 190-pound QB with good feet, a quick set up, arm strength and athleticism. Morris will need to improve his accuracy to fully operate what Borges wants to do.
Yet, with improved footwork, better shoulder positioning and reps, Morris should be fine. Look for Borges to be able to mix in short and intermediate throws with Morris, then to also take advantage of his arm strength by adding third level passes.
2. Christian Hackenberg
Commit: Penn State
Offensive Coordinator: Bill O'Brien
O'Brien is pretty much running what he ran with the Patriots, which is kind of a "Pro-style Spread" offense. That attack fits Hackenberg's skill set extremely well as he can operate nicely out of spread formations with a shotgun alignment.
Hackenberg will need to be more consistent in his decision making and expand his field vision. He also must improve on his ball handling, as O'Brien will add in power runs due to the weather in Happy Valley.
Yet this 6'3", 215-pound QB has a quick release, good arm strength and he displays great ball placement. Bill O'Brien will develop him to play well in his offensive scheme.
1. Max Browne
Offensive Coordinator: Lane Kiffin and Kennedy Polamalu
Polamalu has the title of offensive coordinator but Kiffin calls the plays. The Trojans run a clear-cut pro-style offense that has a lot of West Coast Offense influences, and they love to get the football to their skill personnel in space.
USC puts a lot of emphasis on their QBs being in-tune with the offense mentally, and they ask a lot from their field generals. This is where Browne separates himself from other QB prospects in the country, as he's exceptional at reading coverages, alignments and fronts.
He's a 6'5", 215-pound QB with god mechanics, a quick delivery, solid arm strength and accuracy. Trojans run a lot of check-with-me plays, but you have earn the trust of Kiffin for this type of freedom.
Browne has the ability to spread the ball around to WR's, TE's and backs, which should help USC continue to take advantage of their offensive skill position talent.
Edwin Weathersby is the College Football Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. He has worked in scouting/player personnel departments for three professional football teams, including the New York Giants, Cleveland Browns and the Las Vegas Gladiators of the Arena League. He spent a year evaluating prep prospects and writing specific recruiting and scouting content articles for Student Sports Football (formerly ESPN Rise-HS). A syndicated scout and writer, he's also contributed to WeAreSC.com, GatorBait.net and Diamonds in the Rough Inc., a College Football and NFL Draft magazine.