We all know that the QB position is the glamour-and-glitz-figurehead on the gridiron, right? They play at the “main” position for the “main” sport in the school; we idolize them for their skill-sets during wins, and critique without much regard to their very existence in life when they “fail” to deliver a win on Friday Nights. In some cases you can justify the signal-caller, the field-general, the captain-at-the-helm, the [insert cliché here] being the quintessential definition of B.M.O.C., but how do they get to that point? The answer: they put in work when nobody else is watching; or in today’s case, when BCP is watching.
Players from the bay area and beyond set “the standard” in Orlando on Friday afternoon as they were put through their paces and forced to get beyond their comfort zones in an effort to show that the QB position is exactly what we think it is and here is how it went down…
Following warm-ups the morning session consisted of players being put through footwork progression drills then sent into stations. Coaches worked with players on read recognition, three and five-step drops from under center and the shotgun, as well as countless reps on play-action from the center and gun positions. After a break, the QB’s finished up the afternoon with more stations including escape from the A/C gap w/ deep routes, off-balance throws on the opposite hash dig routes, under center play-action and 5-step, and even zone reads.
Per usual, the BCP Staff handed out its MVP’s of the session with three guys singled-out for their accomplishments. The event saw a couple of local dual-threat guys take home honors along with a pro-set QB from the Orlando Area to form “the highest standard”.
The first MVP announced was Lennard’s Diontae Johnson. The 5-11, 162-pounder from the Class of 2015 planted himself as one of the best showcasing a rocket arm, hairpin release, and a beautiful spin from said release. Johnson was lauded for his “field general” characteristics along with his footwork and most importantly his ability to learn from mistakes. Translation: he didn’t make the same one twice.
The second standout on the day was Dixie Hollins’ Chaddrick Cann Jr. The Class of 2017 prospect already sits behind a stud for the Rebels, but plays safety on the defensive side of the ball as well. His 6-foot-1, 176-lb frame comes along with an upside that’s hard to find restrictions placed on it. The key thing with this young man is his current stage of “development”. Cann Jr. showed great ball work in his straight drops and in stationary positions (hence the emphasis on “developmental”) but will need to pick it up in the other areas, which apparently won’t be THAT difficult.
“The total package” as described by a rather influential person at the event and that would fit for West Orange’s (Winter Garden) Gunnar Ballant. He had to sit behind Hayden Griffitts (now at BYU) last season and won’t have the services of Kentuckly-commit Garrett Johnson, but this 6-3, 202lb Class of 2015 player will have the keys to the Ferrari, the Porsche and the Aston Martin if he continues to progress in a manner that he is for the Warriors and much needed for a team located in a district with Apopka and Olympia. Size not-withstanding, his skill-set isn’t far AT ALL from his predecessor out in Provo, either; which of course is most important.
Other guys that truly gave us a reason to feel happy, happy, happy (in the immortal words of Duck Dynasty’s Patriarch Phil Robertson…(one a QB in his own right who started IN FRONT of Terry Bradshaw in college):
Gabriel Angulo – East Bay (Class of 2016) – Makes the battle between him and fellow classmate Jordan Anderson all the more interesting…even though the Indians’ M.O. is to put you through a meat grinder…which doesn’t always mean the QB is the most important element to the offense. He and Anderson are too good not to think otherwise, however.
Austin Sessums – Wesley Chapel (Class of 2017) – Before the young man tweaked his lower back in the next-to-last station of the afternoon, the rising Soph’s work in all stations was noteworthy with special emphasis on his ability to get out of the pocket, squared to the target with feet set and deliver strikes.
Dayton Feiden – Sunlake (Class of 2015) – Dual threat at 6-1, 162lbs with great footwork and a strong arm. Feiden looks to help take the Seahawks to heights beyond their wildest dreams.
Jayson Carter – Citrus Park Christian (Class of 2015) – Yes, there’s a school located in Citrus Park not named Sickles. Don’t lie, unless you actually LIVE in Citrus Park you didn’t either. Well knowing is half the battle and knowing about Mr. Carter is winning on many levels. 5-11, 185lbs with a pretty effortless release making his arm looking even stronger than it even appears in real time.
Reace Kinley – South Sumter (Class of 2015) – Although an inch taller and ten pounds heavier than Feiden, the Raiders man-under-center looks just like Feiden, and is a legit dual-threat at his position, along with playing virtually every other position for the boys from Bushnell if needed.
Dominique Northern – Winter Haven (Class of 2016) Great size for a Jr. at 5-10, 182lbs and plenty of room to grow into an even bigger frame. Classic setup and release and very consistent in his footwork and a pension for moving extremely efficient out of the pocket, yet still getting the throw out on time and on the spot.
Wesley Eveld – Jesuit (Class of 2015) Okay, so Mr. Eveld is not going to win any foot races anytime soon at 6-5, 208lbs, but if you want a calming yet imposing influence in your huddle along with arguably the best ball thrown amongst his current D-1 siblings, then you’ve got your guy at the next level, now.
Brandon Vinkler – Anclote (Class of 2016) Vinkler is the prototypical Pro-Set QB and is at his best when on the move; great size at 6-0, 216lbs and scary-good accuracy to boot.
Jordan Anderson – East Bay (Class of 2016) While Angulo is 5-11, 151lbs, there stands Anderson at 6-3, 213lbs. and from the same class. The Indians certainly have a wealth of talent at the QB position and Anderson looks to be the prototypical Pro-Set QB, but this battle isn’t just about who can run the offense. Stay tuned for what promises to be an intriguing situation as the season progresses.
– Doug Pugh