Which Team Is Best Fit for No. 1 QB Recruit Josh Rosen?

Tyler Donohue@@TDsTakeNational Recruiting AnalystFebruary 25, 2014

Coveted 2015 quarterback Josh Rosen is ready to announce a commitment. The 5-star Southern California prospect expects to unveil his decision on March 20, he shared on his Twitter account.

Rosen ranks among the most heralded high school passers in recent recruiting cycles. The 6'4", 205-pound St. John Bosco (Bellflower, Calif.) standout is rated as America's top quarterback in 247Sports' Composite rankings.

He is also listed as the No. 4 overall prospect among all 2015 recruits and No. 1 in California.

Rosen threw for nearly 5,300 yards and 61 touchdowns the past two seasons. He led the Braves to a state championship, orchestrating an offense that included a pair of incoming Pac-12 freshmen in Jaleel Wadood (UCLA) and Shay Fields (Colorado).

His success and impressive game film quickly warranted interest from every corner of the country. Rosen's offer sheet includes UCLA, Michigan, California and Florida State, among others.

Nearby USC offered Rosen after his sophomore season. However, Steve Sarkisian landed a quarterback of the future in January when 5-star Ventura, Calif., prospect Ricky Town flipped his commitment from Alabama.

Rosen's impending commitment will take another elite passer off the board well before summer. He is a top priority for several coaching staffs, so expect programs to jockey for position any way they can throughout the next four weeks.

We examine a few of his top options, aiming to find an ideal fit for the nation's top-ranked quarterback. Each of these programs have expressed significant interest, some far earlier than others.



The Golden Bears bottomed out in 2013, failing to beat an FBS opponent. Cal finished 1-11 with a victory over Portland State in head coach Sonny Dykes' first season at the helm.

A combination of offensive play-calling and constantly playing from behind resulted in one of America's top statistical passing attacks. The team averaged 331 passing yards per game, ranked 10th nationally.

Jared Goff went through growing pains throughout his true freshman season at Cal but remains a very promising piece of a rebuilding team. Barring injuries, Goff is penciled in to start at quarterback for at least the next two seasons.

Rosen would really need to trust the system in order to make a leap of faith and commit to Cal. Coaches who start their tenure 1-11 have a tough time turning things around overnight.


Florida State

The Seminoles offered Rosen in February, so the national champs are a little late to the party. Still, Jimbo Fisher can present plenty of reasons why Rosen should cast aside concerns about campus proximity and head to Tallahassee.

Florida State is fresh off a memorable title run starring quarterback Jameis Winston, the 2013 Heisman Trophy winner. Rosen witnessed the adoration that comes when you excel for a program like the Seminoles.

Winston will face a decision following the 2014 season of whether or not he wants to leave early for the NFL draft. His exit would set the stage for Rosen to immediately compete for an opportunity to replace a school legend.

A commitment to Florida State would require willingness to move 3,000 miles away from family and friends. The Seminoles continue to string together tremendous recruiting classes, and Rosen is the latest high-profile target.



Jim Mora has seen what a star quarterback can do for his program, as Brett Hundley has emerged as a legitimate top NFL prospect during his two seasons. Rosen is simply a must-have recruit for the Bruins.

Hundley elected to return to school for his redshirt junior season, but it's hard to imagine him stiff-arming the NFL draft again. It's imperative for Mora to have a reliable quarterback ready to step in for the 2015 season opener.

Rosen would be a true freshman, but we've seen special players stake claim to the starting job during their first collegiate training camp. He would remain in the area he currently dominates with St. John Bosco.

When USC landed Town, it became apparent Mora had to answer by collecting a commitment from Rosen. The stakes will be high on March 20 for UCLA.



Rosen is one of four 2015 quarterback prospects to receive an offer from Michigan. The Wolverines have muddled in relative mediocrity during recent years and could certainly benefit from the infusion of a premier playmaker at the game's most important position.

Brady Hoke arrived in Ann Arbor with plenty of expectations, but rough patches in the Big Ten Conference have cost him some confidence in the eyes of fans. The situation is far from tumultuous, but another underwhelming season could change those dynamics.

Michigan hired former Alabama offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier in January. He spent the past two seasons directing the Crimson Tide offense with quarterback AJ McCarron at the helm.

Rosen would have an excellent shot to start early with the Wolverines, but he must be willing to sacrifice year-round warm weather and an opportunity to stay closer to home.


Verdict: UCLA

The Bruins are a heavy favorite here. Hundey is likely to move on after his junior season, and Rosen has the ability to take the torch during his first few months on campus.

Mora and his staff have been involved with Rosen's recruitment since its earliest stage, and their efforts will pay off. A commitment to UCLA would also set the scene for an intriguing rivalry between Rosen and Town in the Pac-12.


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