Elite 11 Finals 2018: Taulia Tagovailoa, Paul Tyson Show Out at Friday Practice

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistJune 2, 2018

Credit: 247Sports.com

The top quarterbacks in the class of 2019 hit the turf in Redondo Beach, California, on Friday for the first day of Elite 11 competition. 

This year's group is comprised of 24 of the nation's top signal-callers, including six highly-touted gunslingers who remain uncommitted with their senior seasons on the horizon. As always, the festivities will include on-field work, classroom sessions and off-field development periods. 

At the end of the weekend, the Elite 11 coaches—led by Trent Dilfer—will handpick the 11 quarterbacks who will compete at The Opening Finals in Frisco, Texas.  

Here's a look at a few of the day's top performers. 

    

Graham Mertz

Graham Mertz has generated buzz as one of the most promising quarterbacks in the class of 2019, and he reinforced that notion Friday, according to SB Nation Recruiting: 

A standout at Blue Valley North High School in Kansas, Mertz is the fifth-ranked pro-style quarterback and top-ranked QB in Kansas among his peers. With a 6'3'', 205-pound frame that lends itself to plus-mobility when he's forced to improvise, Mertz has a chance to solidify a spot in The Opening Finals over the next couple days. 

"When I look at this class, I see a lot of guys who are really good but have a limited ceiling," 247 Sports scouting director Barton Simmons said. “I think Mertz is one of the few that has that upside you're looking for too.

"He’s a fluid athlete in the pocket, has the frame, the arm and is as natural as anyone in this class as a thrower."

When the fall of 2019 rolls around, don't be surprised if Mertz makes a hard push for a starting gig in Madison, Wisconsin.  

       

Taulia Tagovailoa

By this point, you're familiar with Alabama quarterback and national title game hero Tua Tagovailoa. 

Now, it's time to get acquainted with his younger brother Taulia Tagovailoa. 

An Alabama commit and the eighth-ranked pro-style quarterback in the class of 2019, Taulia showed why he could serve as his brother's successor in Tuscaloosa. Not only did the rising senior flash impressive arm strength out beyond the far hash, but his refined release stood out despite standing 5'11''. 

The positive reviews didn't stop there: 

Taulia's time in the spotlight is still years away, though, and to get there, he's going to have to beat out some stiff competition. 

    

Paul Tyson

Speaking of that competition, fellow Alabama commit Paul Tyson, the great-grandson of legendary Tide head coach Bear Bryant, was on hand beside his future teammate. 

At 6'4.5'', the nation's 12th-ranked pro-style passer made some effortless throws on a variety of patterns: 

Tyson's not nearly as mobile as Tagovailoa and isn't going to make defenses adjust their game plans to account for his legs, but it's clear when he drops back in the pocket that he has the chops required to stretch the field and fit the ball into tight windows. 

Recruit information courtesy of 247Sports.com

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