Power Ranking the Top 10 Quarterbacks in the 2014 Recruiting Class
Quarterback is the most important position in football, so it follows that it's the most important position in college football recruiting. The fate of a program can be decided by whether a coaching staff hits or misses on a quarterback recruit.
With that in mind, this year's quarterback class is filled with potential. Every one of the top-10 quarterbacks is athletic and able to move, which fits the mold of football today.
It's tough to distinguish between the top five, and the fight for the No. 1 ranking was nearly impossible to resolve.
This class may not have the big names and hype of past years, but the quarterbacks on this list all have star potential.
Note: Rankings courtesy of the 247Sports Composite Rankings. All scouting and analysis done from film study via the tapes provided by each recruit's respective 247Sports profile pages, unless otherwise noted. 247Sports predictions courtesy of the 247Sports Crystal Ball.
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10. Quinton Flowers, Dual-Threat QB
Weight: 203 pounds
Hometown: Miami, Fla.
School: Miami Jackson High School
247Sports Prediction: Alabama—100 percent
Bleacher Report Prediction: Miami
Quinton Flowers has game-changing ability and potential. It may not be as a quarterback at the college level, but that depends on the scheme and his progression as a passer in the next year.
He's an explosive, quick and shifty runner who will be great in the open field. He'll find the hole and get through it quickly, and he also has tremendous athleticism, agility, balance, body control and shiftiness. Additionally, he's athletic enough to stand out as a runner in college. Flowers runs a 4.40 40, according to 247Sports.
As a quarterback, though, his footwork is all over the board, his throwing motion is a bit unconventional and he needs to work on cleaning up his fundamentals. When he stands back and steps into the ball, he has good arm strength, so the potential is there.
Flowers is from Miami, so it makes a ton of sense for him to be drawn to the Hurricanes.
9. Justice Hansen, Pro-Style QB
Weight: 200 pounds
Hometown: Edmond, Okla.
School: Santa Fe High School
Committed to Oklahoma on 4/13/13
Like all of the quarterbacks on this list, Justice Hansen is athletic. He can sit back in the pocket and throw and is adept at running an option-read system, keeping the ball and taking off for the end zone.
Hansen has good vision and open-field speed and does a great job of setting up his blocks and finding new running lanes. He has good footwork in the pocket and throws an accurate pass with touch.
He'll need to get more zip and strength behind his throws to be effective against quicker defensive backs in college.
Hansen is a good fit for Oklahoma's offense. He will push for the starter gig after a season or two of development and strength training.
8. Jerrod Heard, Dual-Threat QB
Weight: 190 pounds
Hometown: Denton, Texas
School: John H. Guyer High School
Committed to Texas on 8/14/12
Jerrod Heard is the No. 1 dual-threat quarterback in the nation, according to the 247Sports Composite Ranking. He's a great runner with good speed and long strides. He displays good patience, has a nice cut move and is able to change direction quickly.
Heard is an accurate passer, but he lacks the arm strength of the quarterbacks in front of him. He gets touch and accuracy on his deep ball, but he'll need to put more zip and power behind his throws.
Tyrone Swoopes should be the future quarterback for Texas, but Heard will be a more than adequate backup. One has to believe that Texas will find ways to get Heard on the field to utilize his talent.
7. Kyle Allen, Pro-Style QB
Weight: 185 pounds
Hometown: Scottsdale, Ariz.
School: Desert Mountain High School
Committed to Texas A&M on 6/3/13
Kyle Allen has the potential to be a great starting quarterback at the college level. His footwork is outstanding in the pocket, and he has good presence and awareness. He has a good arm as well, but his accuracy and touch make him stand out.
He throws a deep ball with good touch. Allen is also great at moving around, evading the rush and throwing on the run.
If his arm gets stronger during his senior season, he could break into the top five of these rankings.
It seems as if Johnny Manziel's success at Texas A&M has enticed Allen enough to get him to commit to the Aggies (via Allen's twitter account).
6. Drew Barker, Pro-Style QB
Weight: 210 pounds
Hometown: Hebron, Ky.
School: Conner Senior High School
Committed to Kentucky on 5/10/13
Drew Barker is ranked as a pro-style quarterback, but he could easily be a dual threat. He's a great runner and is adept at reading defenses. It would be great to see him play option football at the college level, even if it's just a special package.
He's a strong runner who hits the hole quickly and has good vision and speed in the open field. He has excellent size, so defenders will have to wrap him up and drive through the tackle or he'll be able to break it.
Barker has a nice arm and can throw on the run, but his footwork gets a bit choppy during his longer drop steps. He can clean that up during his senior season. If he does, he'll be one of the better quarterbacks in this class.
Barker has the skills to be the future starter at Kentucky. His first year should be dedicated to a redshirt in an effort to really work on his fundamentals though.
5. Caleb Henderson, Pro-Style QB
Weight: 220 pounds
Hometown: Alexandria, Va.
School: Lake Braddock Secondary School
Committed to North Carolina on 4/11/13
Caleb Henderson stands out because of his ability to hit the short to intermediate throws. He can get the ball to his receiver on a line, so he'll be able to squeeze it into short windows and make big-time throws. He has good touch and accuracy as well.
Henderson can also take off and run, and he is almost good enough at that to be classified as a dual-threat quarterback. He'll be good in an option offense, though he'll also be effective standing in the pocket and throwing.
He does seem to have choppy footwork, though, and that's what's keeping him out of the top four.
Henderson has the tools to be a great No. 1 quarterback in time for North Carolina. Like Barker, it may be best for him to take a year to work on fundamentals and footwork.
4. Will Grier, Pro-Style QB
Weight: 180 pounds
Hometown: Davidson, N.C.
School: Davidson Day School
Committed to Florida on 12/19/12
Will Grier is not a dual-threat quarterback, but he's elusive for a pocket passer.
He has a strong arm, excellent touch and above-average accuracy. He can be the prototypical pocket-passer, but he also has great agility and athleticism and excels when moving around.
He's the type of quarterback who can bootleg, make a throw on the run or decide to take off and pick up yards with his feet. He also has a feel for pressure and possesses escapability.
Grier doesn't have the pure arm strength or size of the No. 1 quarterback on this list, but he has just as much potential—especially if he bulks up.
Grier has the raw tools and athleticism to be a starting quarterback for Florida. He'll have to bulk up to sustain hits at the SEC level, though, so that future is a few years away.
3. Deshaun Watson, Pro-Style QB
Weight: 200 pounds
Hometown: Gainesville, Ga.
School: Gainesville High School
Committed to Clemson on 2/1/12
Deshaun Watson has the size to be a college quarterback and elite speed. He runs a 4.65 40, according to 247Sports, and he's going to be as much as a threat to run in college as he is to throw.
He has a strong arm and nice touch. He has vision and already knows how to manipulate the defense with his eyes. Watson has good feet and balance, and he only runs on designed runs or once he goes through all of his reads.
As a runner, he is elusive and quick and has a cut move that helps him establish new running lanes.
Watson would be ranked higher if it weren't for the natural throwing abilities of the quarterbacks in front of him.
Watson is a Clemson commitment, and that does not appear likely to change. He will be the Tigers' quarterback of the future.
2. Keller Chryst, Pro-Style QB
Weight: 215 pounds
Hometown: Palo Alto, Calif.
School: Palo Alto High School
247Sports Prediction: Stanford—100 percent
Bleacher Report Prediction: Stanford
He has presence in the pocket and is a natural passer. His footwork is crisp and balanced, and he has a strong throwing arm. He does put good touch and arc on his deep ball, though, and he's accurate on short, intermediate or long throws.
He also does a great job of feeling pressure and keeping his eyes downfield. He can also throw on the run and maintain his accuracy and velocity.
The only thing separating him from the No. 1 spot is the pure size, arm strength and potential that the top quarterback possesses.
Stanford is basically in Chryst's backyard, and the Cardinal are on top of his interest list, according to 247Sports.
1. David Cornwell, Pro-Style QB
Weight: 230 pounds
Hometown: Norman, Okla.
School: Norman North High School
247Sports Prediction: Alabama—100 percent
Bleacher Report Prediction: Alabama
Size and strength characterize David Cornwell. He's big and has a strong arm and elite potential. He stands tall in the pocket and has great footwork, balance and poise.
He has an elite arm and a fundamental throwing style. He steps into his throws and can get arc and touch on his deep ball, but he can also zip it on a line. Cornwell has a rocket for an arm, but he can change up the velocity depending on the throw. When he steps into a pass, though, it's a sight to see.
He'll also be tough to take down in the pocket, and he can take off and run when needed.
Cornwell doesn't have great quickness or athleticism, but he doesn't need it. He can still run and be effective, and he'll be hard to take down in the open field. He can throw on the run as well and is accurate.
He looks the part of an NFL quarterback, let alone a college football recruit.
Best quarterback to the best program? Cornwell fits the mold of an Alabama quarterback, and he has the potential to be a very good one.