The recruitment process has progressed rapidly for Pennsylvania quarterback Phil Jurkovec, who received his first scholarship offer from the Pittsburgh Panthers last fall.
Just seven months later, the Pine-Richland High School sophomore has already lost track of an expanding offer total.
"I think it's over 10, but I'm not sure," he told Bleacher Report.
For the record, 247Sports reports Jurkovec currently holds 16 scholarship opportunities, including several from America's most marquee college football programs. The reigning national champion Alabama Crimson Tide added itself to the list earlier this spring, joining a collection that also features the Clemson Tigers, Tennessee Volunteers, Penn State Nittany Lions and UCLA Bruins.
"It gets a little bit crazy, but it's been a whole lot of fun so far," he said.
Jurkovec, who measured in at 6'5", 202 pounds Saturday, May 7, at The Opening's Columbus regional camp, is rated No. 1 among 2018 dual-threat quarterback prospects by 247Sports. Listed No. 9 overall in class rankings, he has risen to prominence as an underclassman.
The 16-year-old gunslinger showed off a versatile skill set for his size last season. Jurkovec gained 1,250 yards on the ground, threw for 2,560 yards and tallied 31 total touchdowns with just four interceptions.
He impressed Elite 11 coaches in Columbus, establishing himself as the top underclassman in attendance. He was the lone 2018 class member to compete in "pressure chamber" action, a drill comprised of five quarterbacks selected by the staff.
"He's got a frame that gives him a lot of room to grow," Elite 11 instructor Matt James said. "He has big hands. The ball comes slinging out of his hands. He's still learning, but he can make all the throws downfield. Once he kind of gets some of the drills down and becomes more polished with his footwork, that's going to help his arm."
Despite mounting adulation from collegiate scouts, Jurkovec understands he remains a work in progress at this point of his development.
"I just try to take it all in stride and realize [coaching staffs] show you a lot of love right now, but you have to keep working, have to keep getting better," he said. "Every weakness I have, I try to make that a strength."
This untapped potential makes Jurkovec a particularly compelling talent, according to James.
"He's got a lot of room to improve, and I think that ceiling is what makes him so high on people's boards," the Elite 11 leader said.
His latest contact with coaches included visits to in-state Pittsburgh and Penn State. Jurkovec also traveled to Ohio State and Notre Dame in March.
It was his second trip to South Bend.
"The Notre Dame visits were a lot of fun," he said. "I got to meet with all the coaches and see all the facilities."
Jurkovec competed Saturday just minutes away from Buckeyes facilities, and he continues to establish a relationship with Ohio State co-offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Tim Beck. He developed increased admiration for Urban Meyer's program after watching the NFL draft unfold on April 28-30.
"If you watch the draft you see all the players that got drafted and all the talent they're bringing in there. It's amazing," Jurkovec said. "They have a great coaching staff. [The Ohio State offer] was huge."
He already has one premier member of the Buckeyes top-ranked 2017 recruiting class watching closely.
"We were on a visit together this spring," 5-star offensive tackle Josh Myers said. "He's 6'5" and a dual-threat quarterback, which is something you don't see very often. Most taller quarterbacks don't have that mobility. He's a talented guy and cool to be around. I talk to him all the time."
The Buckeyes boast significant young quarterback depth with incoming freshman Dwayne Haskins—a 2015 Elite 11 finalist—enrolling this summer, 4-star commit Danny Clark and the possibility of another blue-chip pledge at the position later in the 2017 cycle.
There are several alternative schools on Jurkovec's list that also feature a potential log jam for starting reps. It's a dynamic he's monitoring, but depth won't serve as a major deterrent in his search for an ideal fit.
"It's important to me because you want to play, but you're going to have good competition at every major school, so I don't pay attention to it that much," Jurkovec said.
His recruitment will expand further this summer.
Jurkovec is targeting campus trips to several universities he has yet to visit, such as Clemson, Michigan State Spartans, North Carolina Tar Heels and Wisconsin Badgers. Penn State, Pittsburgh, Ohio State and Notre Dame Fighting Irish are expected to receive return visits from the coveted quarterback, who plans to attend camps at those schools.
While he seems very much content with current college opportunities, Jurkovec pointed to a West Coast program he'd like to add to the list.
"Stanford would be one," Jurkovec said, though he expressed it would likely require travel to Palo Alto in order to attend a Cardinal camp.
Still just halfway through his high school career, Jurkovec doesn't anticipate a lengthy recruitment.
"I feel like junior year might be the time to commit," he said.
That would set the stage for him to join a class well in advance of national signing day. The chosen program would acquire both a premier passer and a peer recruiter who can help construct a strong class around him.