10 Intangibles College Football Recruiters Always Look for in a QB
Getting a good QB is and always will be a focal point of building a football team. Whether it's at the NFL or college level, the QB of a football team is the most important position to the team. That is why college coaches covet any prospect they feel could be a successful quarterback.
It's one thing to scope out a QB prospect's size, delivery motion, arm strength, mobility and ball placement. Ryan Leaf and JaMarcus Russell possessed these outstanding physical traits, but both ultimately lacked what we evaluators call "intangibles."
Intangibles are things that can't be sized up, measured, timed or weighed. Either a QB has these things or they don't. Here are ten intangibles that college coaches, recruiters and evaluators always look for in a potential QB.
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Coaches want a QB that is going take coaching and is willing to learn. QB's must be willing to take constructive criticism and know that the coach is only trying to make them better.
If a QB is going to ignore coaches and doesn't want to learn how to improve, then they're not going to be successful. So much goes into playing the QB position and having someone teach and coach you is vital to a QB's long-term success.
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It's hard to judge how mentally tough a player is, but QBs must be the most mentally toughest players on your team. How will the QB prospect respond when he throws an interception in a big game on the road?
Will he sulk and feel sorry for himself or will come back and light up the defense to lead his team back into the ball game? Being able to block out weekly and daily distractions to be tough enough to focus on the tasks of playing the QB position is crucial.
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As the QB of a football team, one must be the most consistent performer every game. QBs are looked at by the team as a player to be depended on, and if a QB is inconsistent, then they can't be depended on.
Coaches want to recruit a QB that is consistent every game and that they feel they can trust. If a QB can't be trusted to be a consistent player every game, then there's no need for him to be brought into your program.
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You'll hear the term "moxie" from time to time with QBs, and by that, people mean confidence or a certain cockiness or arrogance.
Coaches don't want a QB that doesn't have alpha-male pride and traits. The fact that they can get their hands on a guy who has supreme confidence in his talent and skill set is well embraced.
It takes a little arrogance and conviction to be a stud QB, so if a prospect doesn't have a little moxie to him, then that's not good.
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Coaches and recruiters are looking for a QB that can be the face of the team and program. Along with that comes the responsibility of doing the right thing, all the time.
Not only when the cameras and coaches are around, but also when nobody sees it.
Showing great character such as being a great teammate, being responsible, being mature and being kind to others helps a QB and his football team. How does the QB treat fans? Is he nice and kind to classmates and school staff?
This is an important intangible that coaches look for.
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There's nothing wrong with being a polished QB prospect that may not have as much raw potential as others. However, coaches do like it when they see some untapped potential in a young signal caller.
Coaches can be pretty arrogant and some of them take pride in molding a raw QB into something, because it helps their coaching reputation.
They see a big and strong QB with a rocket arm who just needs to work on his footwork and mechanics, and they feel they can really ascend his career. You can't really measure a prospect's potential in any one way, but if the QB is deemed to have it, then it's a plus.
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Being a fierce competitor and hating to lose more so than loving to win has to be one of the main intangibles a QB has. Having a competitive QB that wants to win at everything rubs off on the football team.
Coaches want a QB who thinks "I'm going to lead my team to a win today and there's nothing that other team over there can do about it."
Like him or not, this is one intangible that is a positive with Tim Tebow too. Is the QB easy to give up and concede victory? Or is he kind of guy who feels as long as there's time on the clock and if he has the ball, then his team can win?
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Quarterbacks have to be willing to put in a substantial amount of extra work compared to their teammates.
Whether it's putting in the extra film study during the season to know how a defense adjusts their coverages in the red zone on third down in the fourth quarter or working on their mechanics on the field in the spring, the QB has to have an excellent work ethic.
Asking his high school coach, teammates and even his teachers is a solid way to get a feel for a QB prospect's work ethic.
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Coaches must ask themselves "Is the high school QB that I'm watching capable of rallying our team and getting everyone to respect and respond to him so that they're all playing for one unified goal?"
That's the sign of a true leader—getting a group of people to work together as a group to achieve a goal. Some QBs do it in more vocal ways, while others take the "lead by example" approach.
No matter what approach a QB takes to leadership, he must be an effective leader. Coaches look for this in high school QB prospects.
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Being able to not be rattled and to stay calm and positive in all situations is critically important for a QB. When things are going bad, the team and program is going to look at the QB.
If the QB is skittish, shaken and in a panic mode, then it's going to trickle down throughout the team. When a coach goes to see a QB live, he must see a poised field general that can stay cool under fire and pressure.
Some say this is the most important trait a QB must possess at any level of competitive football.
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.