Uncommitted QBs to Watch for at the Elite 11 Finals

Edwin WeathersbyAnalyst IJuly 1, 2014

Uncommitted QBs to Watch for at the Elite 11 Finals

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    Credit: 247Sports

    The Elite 11 Finals will take place simultaneously with The Opening from July 5-10 at the Nike World Headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon. That means 18 of the best quarterbacks seen at passing events this spring will get a chance to show their skills on a national platform.

    Among those 18 field generals, several still remain uncommitted. While it's a bit late in the recruiting process for quarterbacks, all four uncommitted passers in Beaverton will have something to prove.

    A rising quarterback from California will be monitored closely, while a signal-caller from Florida will be looking to show he has all the tools. Plus, a few sleepers will be in attendance.

    All recruiting ratings and rankings are from 247Sports' Composite Rankings.
    Player evaluations are based on review of tape at Scout.comRivals and 247Sports.

Ryan Brand, 3-Star

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    Credit: 247Sports

    Recruitment Status: Air Force and Indiana State have offered, per 247Sports. Air Force is at 100 percent in the 247Sports Crystal Ball.

    What To Watch For

    Ryan Brand is a 3-star quarterback from Detroit who doesn't get a lot of attention in recruiting coverage. However, he is a talented uncommitted passer who could steal the show in Beaverton.

    Although Brand is only 5'10" and 192 pounds, he enters the event as one of the most athletic quarterbacks on hand. Also, keep an eye on Brand's attempt to show observers he is a smart decision-maker.

    Should he put it all together, he could be a surprise.

Sam Darnold, 3-Star

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    Credit: 247Sports

    Recruitment Status: USC and Oregon are out in front of Duke and Northwestern, per 247Sports. The Trojans are at 62 percent in the 247Sports Crystal Ball.

    What To Watch For

    One of the quarterbacks coming into the Elite 11 Finals with the most momentum is Sam Darnold, a 3-star passer from California. Darnold suffered an ankle injury as a junior, which is the main reason he is late to the recruiting party.

    However, the 6'4", 208-pound passer is a real contender for the MVP award. Darnold has surprising arm strength, plus he can be deadly accurate when he gets into a rhythm. The Golden State native is also a better athlete than people realize, which means he'll open up some more eyes in Beaverton.

Ross Bowers, 3-Star

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    Credit: 247Sports

    Recruitment Status: California and Colorado State are the favorites, says 247Sports. The Bears are at 91 percent in the 247Sports Crystal Ball.

    What To Watch For

    At 6'2" and 185 pounds, Ross Bowers has only average size. He may not have a dominant trait or physical tool, but he grades out fine in just about every area. The 3-star Washington native has enough arm strength to pitch into tight targets, and he uses quick judgement to determine what type of trajectory he needs on each throw.

    If Bowers is steady and consistent at the Elite 11 Finals like he is in games, he could find himself thick in the MVP award mix.

Deondre Francois, 4-Star

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    Credit: 247Sports

    Recruitment Status: Florida State leads Auburn and Oregon, among others, according to 247Sports. The Seminoles are at 87 percent in the 247Sports Crystal Ball, while 13 percent is for Auburn. 

    What To Watch For

    Deondre Francois is a talented 4-star quarterback from Orlando who could elevate his status in Beaverton. At 6'1" and 195 pounds, the Florida native plays a bit bigger than his listed size. Francois has good arm talent, evidenced by his above-average arm strength and accuracy.

    He has quick feet in his drops, where he holds the ball chest-high. Francois has no issues climbing up the pocket, plus his athleticism helps him not panic when rushed off his launch point. He's definitely coming to the Elite 11 Finals with the MVP award on his mind.

    Francois talked to Jason Howell of Rivals.com (subscription required) on June 28 about when he'll make his decision:

    "At the end of July at IMG," Francois said. "I was going to do it at the Opening, but I want to see Oregon before I do it. So I decided to push it back and do it at IMG."

Video Preview on the Opening

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    Here is a neat video about which recruits could break out at the event. July 5-10 figure to be an intense and revealing several days in Beaverton!

    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 and Cleveland Browns.