Months of buildup, multiple competitions and countless young quarterbacks working to earn a spot will lead to one final list for the Elite 11. With hope and optimism, all 18 signal-callers entered the closing day of the event looking to shine.
At the end of the nearly week-long process for the finalists, one player emerged to take the title of MVP of the entire competition. Alabama commit Blake Barnett was that player, capturing the crown after a great showing at the end, per the official Elite 11 handle:
Barnett secured a spot in Trent Dilfer's Elite 11 QB Camp later this summer. ESPNU provided a full look at the "Summer of Next" slate, which includes the camp:
Now that the competition has officially concluded, let's take a look at the Elite 11 finals and get to know the quarterback who rose to the occasion in Beaverton, Oregon.
The quarterback who sat atop the rankings heading into the last day of competition was the one who took home the MVP trophy.
Barnett, entering his senior year at Santiago High School in Corona, California, separated himself from the pack from Day 1 and took the top prize. Paul Myerberg of USA Today passed along his thoughts on Barnett:
Alabama commit Blake Barnett named Elite 11 MVP. Totally deserved. He lit it up from the start and never stopped.— Paul Myerberg (@PaulMyerberg) July 11, 2014
Barnett led Team Apocalypse to a win over the Land Sharks, in the seven-on-seven championship. The 4-star signal-caller crushed the opposition when games started, moving his name steadily up the Elite 11 list and coming into Thursday as the No. 1 quarterback.
Following the announcement, Tom Luginbill of ESPN posted a photo alongside the Elite 11 MVP:
Josh Newberg of 247Sports posted a video of the announcement:
The other player taking home an MVP award was Barnett's future teammate, Calvin Ridley. The 4-star wide receiver was Barnett's main target throughout the week as the tandem quickly found chemistry.
Both players provided a look into the future for the already dominant Alabama program. 247Sports' Barton Simmons captured one huge touchdown reception from the duo and shared it on Instagram:
Barnett and Ridley teamed up to defeat the Land Sharks and Ricky Town, a current USC commit who decommitted from Alabama in January. Town had a bounce back day on Thursday, but was unable to do enough to overtake the duo in the final.
Bruce Feldman of FOX Sports noted the interesting storyline between the two quarterbacks:
While the final list for the Elite 11 won't be announced until later on Thursday night, Barnett assured himself of a spot on the team after locking up his MVP award.
Each of the 11 prospects named will earn an invite to Dilfer's camp held on Aug. 17. With several of the players already making their college commitments, they will look to prove that they are worthy of the ranking they've earned.
As for Barnett, keeping the target on his back as the top signal-caller in the camp will be his primary focus. And if the Crimson Tide players taking home both MVPs is any indication, Alabama's program appears to be in good hands.
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