Which Team Is Best Fit for 4-Star QB Recruit Brady White?

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Which Team Is Best Fit for 4-Star QB Recruit Brady White?
Credit: 247Sports

Brady White, one of the country's premier quarterback prospects, is just days away from announcing where he intends to play college football. The California playmaker will reveal his decision Friday at 6:30 p.m. EDT, per 247Sports reporter Barton Simmons.

The announcement serves as another key development in the 2015 recruiting cycle, as several of White's elite quarterback contemporaries have already committed. 

Fellow Golden State standouts Josh Rosen (UCLA), Ricky Town (USC), Blake Barnett (Notre Dame) and Jake Browning (Washington) are off the market. Fellow 4-star talents Drew Lock (Missouri), Ty Storey (Arkansas), Jarrett Stidham (Texas Tech) and Tyler Queen (Auburn) have also made up their minds.

The group of uncommitted quarterbacks in this deep class is quickly dwindling, making Friday's announcement one worth watching.

White, rated No. 4 nationally among pro-style passers in 247Sports' composite rankings, enjoyed a dominant junior campaign. The Hart High School (Newhall, Calif.) star completed 333 pass attempts for 4,535 yards and 41 touchdowns.

His efforts included another 320 yards and nine scores on the ground. White was selected to compete in the 2015 U.S. Army All-American Bowl.

The 6'2", 190-pound passer has been focused on Pac-12 rivals Cal and Arizona State recently, visiting both programs in April. Oregon extended an offer earlier this week, joining the race in its final stages.

White also views Penn State as a legitimate option, per 247Sports reporter Steve Wiltfong (subscription required). His other offers include Louisville, Maryland, Tennessee, Kentucky and Washington State.

With White's highly anticipated announcement looming, we examine each option in an attempt to uncover his ideal fit.

 

Cal

The Golden Bears missed out on Rosen, the top-rated 2015 quarterback, in March when he pledged to UCLA. Still, it's fairly remarkable that Cal was viewed as a finalist for one of America's most coveted prospects after a 1-11 season.

Second-year head coach Sonny Dykes didn't manage to beat a single FBS opponent in 2013, settling for a lone victory over Portland State. The team dealt with tremendous growing pains but has to be pleased overall with the development of quarterback Jared Goff.

The true freshman orchestrated an offensive attack that averaged 331 passing yards per contest, ranked 10th nationally. He figures to be the face of this program moving forward for at least the next two seasons.

Cal landed two potential quarterbacks prospects in February. The Golden Bears welcome 3-star signees Luke Rubenzer and Chase Forrest to campus this summer.

Neither player warranted the attention that White has received during their respective recruiting processes, but Cal isn't exactly hurting for immediate help at the position. Goff could remain the starter under center until 2017.

White visited Cal on April 4. Wide receiver Trent Irwin, his top high school target, is also strongly considering the Golden Bears.

Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press
Jared Goff appears entrenched as Cal's QB for the next few years.

 

Arizona State

White has built a tremendous relationship with the Sun Devils coaching staff in recent weeks. He spent two days in Tempe during the first weekend of April and returned for another trip to campus last weekend.

White was able to develop a personal understanding of how he fits in the team's plans during his initial visit, per 247Sports' JC Shurbutt.

I got to meet with (Sun Devils offensive coordinator) Mike Norvell and (head coach) Todd Graham to see how I fit in their offense. Norvell and Graham both told me I was their No. 1 guy, they will consistently stay in touch and recruit me as if I were the top guy on their board. I appreciated hearing that from them.

The Sun Devils surprised many in 2013, finishing 8-1 in Pac-12 play. Arizona State has won 13 of 17 games dating back to Nov. 17, 2012, giving Graham plenty of credibility as he pitches his program to prospects.

Quarterback Taylor Kelly has 27 career starts with the Sun Devils and is entering his final collegiate season. Arizona State signed two dual-threat California quarterbacks in February—Manny Wilkins and Coltin Gerhart—before picking up a pledge from 2015 prospect Bryce Perkins.

Perkins is a prime candidate to switch positions, particularly if White comes on board, but the Sun Devils feature a quality stable of young passers either way.

Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Todd Graham led the Sun Devils to eight conference wins in 2013.

 

Penn State

Obviously, the Nittany Lions don't present the kind of regional proximity provided by White's Pac-12 options. His family and friends will have a much harder time seeing him play in person if he decides to call Happy Valley home.

Starting quarterback Christian Hackenberg was arguably the most impressive true freshman to emerge during the 2013 season. His success already has some wondering if he could be a top pick in the 2016 NFL draft.

James Franklin won't have to concern himself with alterations atop the quarterback depth chart as long as he has Hackenberg. Still, there's a strong possibility that someone will need to step into the role two years from now.

Tyler Ferguson transferred to Louisville after his first season at Penn State, unwilling to spend his days watching Hackenberg from the sidelines. The Nittany Lions signed 4-star Florida quarterback Michael O'Connor, who spent spring camp with the squad as an early enrollee.

Trace McSorley, a 3-star Virginia prospect, arrives on campus this summer. Penn State will likely look to keep both players off the field this season in order to preserve redshirt possibilities.

That means White could step into a position that features two redshirt freshmen in 2015.

Justin K. Aller/Getty Images
Rising sophomore Christian Hackenberg is in command at Penn State.

 

Oregon

The Ducks are latecomers to the party but deserve consideration nonetheless. Oregon's offensive attack perennially ranks among the most potent in college football.

Even after the departure of play-calling wiz Chip Kelly, the team finished fourth nationally in points per game last season (45.5). Quarterback Marcus Mariota led the way and decided to delay his NFL career by staying in Eugene as a junior.

Barring any injuries or unforeseen setbacks, it's hard to envision him making the same decision next winter. Redshirt sophomores Jeff Lockie and Jake Rodrigues serve as Mariota's primary backups but both players will have only two years maximum to start if he declares for the 2015 draft.

Morgan Mahalak, a 2014 4-star signee from California, could also be in line to compete for a starting job when Mariota departs. White would enter the equation competing against quarterbacks with significantly more experience in the complex scheme.

Oregon is a tempting destination for any quarterback, but White may encounter a crowded backfield if he commits to the Ducks.

Credit: 247Sports
Oregon signed 4-star QB Morgan Mahalak this year.

Where will 4-star QB Brady White play college football?

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The Verdict

White's focus will center on Cal and Arizona State. If his ambitions are to compete for a starting spot during his first collegiate training camp, then the choice is clear.

The Sun Devils are going to turn the page at quarterback in 2015. Given the team's admiration for White, it wouldn't be a surprise to see Graham include him in the mix as a true freshman.

Arizona State is on the rise, with a powerful offensive attack leading the way. White can seize a rare opportunity to play immediately, while staying within a six-hour car drive of his hometown.

 

Recruit information, ratings and statistics courtesy of 247Sports unless otherwise noted. 

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