The recruiting process for a high school athlete can be grueling, just ask quarterback prospect Dolapo Macarthy.
Macarthy graduated from Merrillville High School (IN) in 2009 and opted to attend Hargrave Military Academy in Virginia after he decided he needed more time to choose where he wanted to play college football.
I recently had the opportunity to talk to Macarthy over the phone, and I must say that he is an impressive individual.
Obviously, I am pulling hard for Iowa in his recruiting process, and he says the Hawkeyes are a team he would love to be a part of.
"I wanted to commit [to the Hawkeyes] but they didn't have any offers...I talked to Iowa and sent them film...I would love to be part of Hawkeye nation."
Many are aware that the Hawkeyes recently landed another prospective quarterback in A.J. Derby, a player who is native to Iowa City. Derby is considered an "athlete" prospect by most media outlets, and some scouts think he may be better suited to play safety or tight end at the next level.
Macarthy noted in our conversation that he was aware of Derby potentially coming to Iowa. He also said that the Hawkeyes' current quarterback situation is attractive to him as a recruit.
"Wherever you go, there is going to be competition," said Macarthy. "There could be five or six quarterbacks on a depth chart, and everyone is fighting for a job. Here [at Hargrave] I split time with another quarterback whether it be different quarters or splitting games—we're always pushing each other and making each other better."
Macarthy also noted that competition is something he desires, but that he also wants to get playing time right away.
And what quarterback doesn't?
EBut still, Macarthy told me that redshirting was definitely an option. Even though he is already taking a year away from college to hone his skills at Hargrave, learning behind Ricky Stanzi at Iowa is something he would look forward to if it means he might possibly play as the starter in 2011.
One of the first questions I asked Macarthy was about his current stance in the recruiting process. He told me all about Hargrave Military Academy and how there are big schools coming in day in and day out for games.
Schools like North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, and Notre Dame have been some of the recent schools looking at players from Hargrave, and Macarthy relishes the opportunity to play with such talent around him.
"There are guys here going to North Carolina, Notre Dame was here, and we have a guy [four star wide receiver prospect] Deon Long who is committed to West Virginia, and he runs a 4.3 forty or something like that," Macarthy said. "Playing with guys like him make me, as a quarterback, better every day."
Macarthy noted that taking a year away from college and attending Hargrave has taught him more about life. The year has prepared him for the next level, given him experience, and simply taught him who to listen to.
This kid appears to have a solid foundation as a human being, but what about what he can do on the football field? When it comes down to it, they don't come any more prototypical that Macarthy.
ESPN.com lists Macarthy at 6'5" and 225 pounds, the ideal size for a pro-style quarterback.
So, I challenged Macarthy. I asked, "Other than your ideal size, what is your greatest asset as a quarterback?"
The word that really stood out to me when he responded was that he was "blessed." I found the rest of his assessment intriguing.
"I feel I have a lot of upside and potential, and the quarterback position just comes naturally to me. I have good movement, and because of my size I am able to take a lot of shots. I don't think I have come anywhere near my full potential yet."
I find it a huge disappointment as a fan that the Hawkeyes have not offered this guy a scholarship yet, and Macarthy blames that a bit on himself, saying he waited a long time last season to make a decision, and by the time he was ready, a lot of the offers were off the table.
It is admirable, as a fan, that a player with the potential of Macarthy has decided to take the year to hone his skills and gain knowledge of the game instead of simply settling for an offer he may otherwise not have been satisfied with.
With the Iowa Hawkeyes a bit thin at the quarterback position, and the status of A.J. Derby unknown as far as what position he will play, Macarthy seems to be an ideal prospect for Kirk Ferentz and the Hawkeyes to develop.
Here is a report from Scout.com on Macarthy:
Dolapo is a big quarterback with excellent tools. He is tall and uses that to his full advantage as he has a nice, high release. He is smooth in his delivery, but has the arm strength to make all the throws.
He throws a decent deep ball, but it does tend to hang in the air. He shows outstanding touch and can lay passes over the outstretched arms of defenders. A good athlete, he has good escapability and can throw well on the run.
Here is what ESPN.com had so say about him:
Macarthy is great looking quarterback on the hoof with all the physical tools needed to develop into a productive quarterback at the next level. He has great height and a well-built body capable staying in the pocket and absorbing the big hit.
Has good feet and athleticism but projects more as a pocket passer than a dual-threat signal caller at the next level. Settles smoothly in his drop, gets balanced and has good pocket awareness. High release point and a smooth delivery.
Can be a bit erratic, but flashes a very live, naturally strong arm. Can make most of the college throws, particularly the deep out route from the opposite hash. Shows good touch underneath and leads receivers well on vertical routes placing the ball over the top of coverage.
Throws well on the run with good accuracy, squares up to his target. Can move the chains with his size and athleticism if needed but looks to throw first. However, he is a bit raw in terms of timing routes and reading coverages. Lacks great wrist snap and a quick release with sought-after zip.
Could struggle consistently fitting the ball into tight windows of coverage with faster breaking defensive backs at the college level. Overall, Macarthy would benefit from college coaching and polish. Needs to become more consistent and refined as a passer but has a ton of natural ability to mold into a good one at the next level.
Macarthy is an impressive individual, both on the field and off. I really enjoyed talking with him and he was a great interviewee. I hope the Hawkeyes take a serious look at his kid, he is one to keep an eye on.