College Football Recruiting: Breaking Down the Top 10 Available Quarterbacks
The 2011 football season is far from over but if your favorite team has not yet signed a quarterback, time is running out.
Most of the top-ranked senior quarterbacks have made a verbal commitment.
However, that does not mean that there are not still quality prospects available.
In this list of the top 10 available quarterbacks, there are a variety of players.
Some are projects while others could contribute as freshmen. However, for the most part, these 10 players are flying under the radar.
No. 10: Carson Roberts
If you are looking for the next Peyton Manning, this is not your man. However, if you are looking for a player who can be a game manager, Carson Roberts is still available.
Roberts leads receivers well, hits the strike zone consistently and throws catchable balls. He has a quick, compact release and can make any throw you need.
What I like best about him is his ability to read defenses and go through his progressions. He doesn’t make many mistakes and rarely forces a throw.
Roberts is a smart quarterback that can manage the game and protect the football.
No. 9: Steve Donatell
Hidden in Highlands Ranch Colorado is my pick for the most underrated quarterback still available.
Steve Donatell is a left-handed, 6'5" and 200-pound quarterback with an amazing amount of talent.
His father is Ed Donatell who coaches defensive backs for the San Francisco 49ers. This makes it even more unbelievable that he has flown under the radar.
Donatell has great speed and athleticism with 4.5 speed. He does a great job of setting his feet, squaring up his shoulders and throwing with great touch and accuracy. He's got a nice, smooth release and good zip on his throws.
He does not have elite arm strength but it is good enough to play in a BCS conference.
You can tell his father is an NFL coach by the way he reads defenses. He needs to add another 10 pounds but is not scared of contact.
He currently has one offer from Nebraska. Watch this video to see why the Cornhuskers are recruiting him so hard.
No. 8: Darrack Hager
Darrack Hager is far and away one of the top 25 most underrated players at any position.
At last check, Hager did not have any offers. However, after a strong Under Armour Combine and Elite 11 Camp that will soon change.
Hager is a very accurate passer who excels in the short and intermediate passing game. He throws one of the best sideline passes in all of high school football.
The 6’3" and 200-pound quarterback has a lively arm and can place the ball into any passing lane when his feet are set. He has good overall mechanics and has enough athleticism to move around in the pocket.
He needs to become less tense in the pocket but reminds me of former Alabama quarterback Greg McElroy.
No. 7: Jamil Golden
If you are looking for a quarterback with picture-perfect mechanics, Jamil Golden is not your man.
However, if you are looking for a quarterback who gets results than Golden might be your choice.
At 6’3" and 200 pounds Golden has a good frame. Moreover, his 4.6 speed shows how athletic he is. If he does not work out as a quarterback he has potential at a wide receiver or safety.
Despite his flawed mechanics he has great accuracy and velocity on his passes. He is dangerous on the run because he can zip the ball without setting his feet completely.
He currently has offers from Arkansas, Vanderbilt and Purdue among others.
Golden is best in a three-step drop passing game. He can make plays in any system but he is great at dropping back and getting the ball out of his hands quickly.
Golden will need to redshirt but has great potential.
No. 6: Jeremiah Briscoe
Jeremiah Briscoe is your typical Texas quarterback with good size and strength. He is athletic and can make elite-level throws. He has good arm strength and can put the ball in any lane needed.
He displays great confidence and field leadership, but at times he can become overconfident and take gambles that are not needed. He must learn to throw the ball away.
His willingness to take unneeded risks reminds me of fellow Texan Matthew Stafford when he first arrived at Georgia. He makes many of those throws but will need to choose his battles better in college.
His only glaring weakness is the inconsistency of his footwork. If he redshirts next season, a year worth of consistent focus on his footwork could help him become an elite quarterback by the end of his career.
A lot of his game is unpolished but his potential is second to none.
No. 5: Devin Fuller
Devin Fuller is an athlete who could become a great quarterback.
He has a smooth release but plays his best football on the run. He can throw daggers at times without even attempting to set his feet. He also throws well across his body.
He is very elusive in the open field and has a great burst of speed. He hits lanes fast and can cut back the other way with little effort. He has good speed and great acceleration.
His biggest flaw at this juncture is his accuracy in the pocket. However, at the right school he would be worth the risk.
He currently has offers from offers from dozens of schools like Alabama, Michigan State, Nebraska and Florida State, but his best fit might be Georgia Tech. He has the skill set to play there as a freshman.
No. 4: Brandon Silvers
Brandon Silvers will either be a player who BCS schools make a late run at in recruiting or the player who makes coaches kick themselves for years to come. Silvers is talented enough to play in any conference in college football.
Silvers is 6’3" and 200 pounds and runs a 4.6 40-yard dash. He sees the field well and if needed he can buy more time with his feet.
Silvers has a great pocket presence and a confidence that is evident. Gulf Shores High School runs a spread offense using Silvers in the shotgun formation.
He is very consistent in his mechanics and quickly drives the ball with zip and authority. When he sets his feet and transfers his weight properly, he can throw an elite ball.
Silvers throws the ball well on the run, but at times he needs to stop flushing out of the pocket when it is not necessary. Instead, he needs to plant his feet and display his terrific arm.
No. 3: Faton Bauta
Faton Bauta is a quarterback whose stock is on the rise. He currently holds over a dozen offers including ones from Georgia, Alabama and West Virginia.
When you watch film of Bauta it is easy to see what all the fuss is about.
Bauta might be a teenager but he is built like a college senior. He is 6’3" and 230 pounds of solid muscle. He is being recruited as a quarterback but is athletic enough to play many positions.
With his size and speed (4.54), if he becomes more polished as a quarterback he has All-American potential—but has a ways to go. He possesses a very good arm and nice footwork but he needs more reps in the drop-back passing game.
He has the tools but he needs a great quarterback coach.
Bauta is visiting Georgia this week, and this could be a perfect fit. He could either redshirt or run the Wildcat formation but he is too talented to keep off the field long.
Will his college choice be patient? Time will tell.
No. 2: Anthony Alford
Anthony Alford is an elite-level quarterback prospect, but only at schools that run the spread offense. He is extremely athletic and can make plays with his feet and his arm.
He has a quick release and great arm strength. He needs to work on his technique and accuracy but has such a high ceiling he is worth the effort.
Alford is good in the pocket but is at his best when things break down. He has a wow factor that very few players possess. He can take nothing and make a touchdown out of it.
Has the zip and power to be an effective short and intermediate passer now. He reminds me of Denard Robinson but with enough work could become Charlie Ward 2.0.
The risk is low with Alford because if he fails to adjust to the offense at QB, he can play a variety of positions.
No. 1: Gunner Kiel
Gunner Kiel is far and away the top remaining quarterback of the 2012 class. In fact, many believe he is the best quarterback in the 2012 class period.
Kiel has ideal size and height for an elite quarterback at 6’4" and 220 pounds. He is very strong for a quarterback his age and surprisingly athletic as well.
Columbus East High School runs a four-wide offense with Kiel in the shotgun. This offense suits him well because he can make any throw needed both vertically and horizontally.
Kiel gets rid of the ball so fast and his release is so quick that defenses rarely get any pressure on him.
He runs the ball a lot in this offense off of zone reads; this is when both his athleticism and competitiveness are on the greatest display.
He keeps the ball tight to his body and his quick feet make him a legitimate threat. However, what I like the most is how he lowers his shoulder whenever the first down marker is within reach.
What makes him special as a thrower is how hard and tight he can throw the ball when he sets his feet. Yet on the next play he might throw a fade with perfect touch.
My only concern for him is we have not seen him under center enough. Can he make the same reads dropping back to pass?
With his talent and competitiveness I would not bet against him.