Best Sales Pitch for Each Top 4 Team to Land 4-Star QB Zach Gentry

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Best Sales Pitch for Each Top 4 Team to Land 4-Star QB Zach Gentry
Credit: 247Sports

Zach Gentry ranks highly among remaining uncommitted 2015 quarterback prospects, pulling in several scholarship offers since his junior season. The 4-star recruit has plenty of programs to consider but is currently focused on four specific schools, according to his conversation with Rivals.com reporter Rob Cassidy (subscription required).

He identified Texas, Tennessee, Alabama and Oklahoma State as primary suitors at this stage, though Gentry wouldn't go as far to eliminate other teams just yet. The 6'7", 230-pound passer presents an intriguing option for his favorites, who each feature unique situations at the position.

Gentry, a standout at Eldorado High School in Albuquerque, N.M., is rated ninth nationally among 2015 pro-style quarterbacks in 247Sports' composite rankings. His offer list also includes Louisville, Maryland, Northwestern and Oregon State.

He passed for more than 3,600 yards and 26 touchdowns during the past two seasons combined. Though Gentry possesses a massive physical frame, his mobility is also a factor for opposing defenses.

He rushed for 617 yards and 16 scores as a junior.

With four squads rising to the forefront for his services, we examine what each favorite has to offer.

 

Texas

The Longhorns will undoubtedly undergo some alterations to roster-structure philosophy with new leadership in place. Texas welcomes 4-star quarterback prospect Jerrod Heard to campus this summer, though he didn't commit to the current regime.

Head coach Charlie Strong saw Teddy Bridgewater elevate Louisville in recent years and understands the importance of pairing his defensive-minded approach with a potent passer. Gentry traveled to Austin on Thursday for a closer look at the Longhorns.

The other two visitors—brothers Kirk and Collin Johnson—committed while on campus. Gentry didn't follow suit, but he still had an opportunity to develop a clearer picture of what the program offers.

First-year offensive coordinator Joe Wickline has previous knowledge of Gentry from his time at Oklahoma State, where he helped orchestrate one of America's most potent passing attacks during a nine-year tenure in Stillwater.

Texas has yet to secure a quarterback in the 2015 recruiting cycle, but already holds commitments from impressive offensive difference-makers like Dallas running back Jordan Stevenson and Houston tackle Toby Weathersby.

Heard might be first in line to carve out a role as Texas' quarterback of the future, but Gentry would be the first player at the position handpicked by Strong and his staff. He picked up an offer from the Longhorns in late March and has quickly reciprocated interest.

 

Tennessee

Head coach Butch Jones assembled one of the country's most impressive 2014 classes following his first season at the helm. He signed more than 30 players, including explosive early enrollees Josh Malone (wide receiver) and Jalen Hurd (running back).

The Volunteers' 2015 class already includes Georgia receiver Preston Williams, who rates fifth nationally at the position in 247Sports' composite rankings. Jones has loaded up on offensive weapons in the past few months but he's still in search of a game changer at quarterback, a position that didn't receive fresh talent in the 2014 class.

Tennessee picked up a pledge from 4-star athlete Jauan Jennings earlier this month. The in-state commit aims to play quarterback at the next level, but could ultimately end up at another position.

Gentry would provide another option in a class that will probably end up with two passers. Florida prospect Torrance Gibson, rated the consensus No. 1 dual-threat quarterback in this cycle, visited Knoxville days before Gentry arrived in late March.

Gentry and Gibson are arguably the two hottest quarterback commodities on the market right now, so Tennessee aims to secure one soon. Gibson has already stated his intentions of spending an official visit with the Volunteers, while Gentry told 247Sports reporter Ryan Callahan he was "blown away" by his trip to the university.

Either quarterback would arguably be a favorite to start as an underclassman. That may encourage Gentry to pull the trigger on a commitment sooner rather than later.

 

Alabama

Nick Saban doesn't have to do much to sell his vision at Alabama. His three national championship trophies since 2009 get the point across pretty clearly.

The Crimson Tide are typically ultra selective when it comes to offering quarterbacks, so Gentry should feel flattered by the way Alabama has pursued him since extending an offer in February. He is one of just three uncommitted passers to currently hold a scholarship offer from Saban, per 247Sports.

New offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin has made Gentry a top priority, so his upcoming visit to campus is pivotal for both parties. He'll be in attendance this Saturday at Alabama's spring game, per 247Sports reporter Charles Power (subscription required).

"It’s going to be really attractive with all the fans and the first game day setting, first true spring game that I’ll be watching," Gentry told Power. "I’m looking forward to that game atmosphere and seeing the practice, the facilities, and getting to know their coaches."

The Tide are under pressure to lock up a passer after losing a commitment from 5-star California Ricky Town in January. He flipped to USC and left Alabama searching elsewhere.

Gentry has been on campus at each of his four favorites except Alabama. Expect the program to play up its game-day environment throughout a weekend in Tuscaloosa that features several high-profile visitors.

 

Oklahoma State

The Cowboys offered Gentry in January but don't necessarily have as strong a need for him as the other teams on this list. Oklahoma State received a commitment from 3-star in-state quarterback John Kolar last month.

USA TODAY Sports
Tennessee coach Butch Jones is still searching for his quarterback of the future.

Still, the opportunity to lead an up-tempo attack in Stillwater has to be appealing for any passer. During the past four seasons, the Cowboys have scored at least 50 points in 19 games, including seven 60-point outbursts.

Oklahoma State is two years removed from a Big 12 title and Fiesta Bowl Championship. The program has picked up steam under the guidance of head coach Mike Gundy and through the financial support of T. Boone Pickens.

The Cowboys can offer Gentry a chance to compete in a pass-happy offensive scheme that would allow him to regularly sit back in the pocket and sling the football downfield. He wouldn't be the team's only incoming quarterback, but could view immediate competition as a challenge worth accepting in order to take the reigns of a nationally feared offense.

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